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Weekend Box Office: 21 Jump Street Breaks Cover, Tops Box Office

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By Chris Kavan - 03/19/12 at 01:08 AM CT

The dynamic duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum was a hit a the box office as 21 Jump Street cruised to a win while The Lorax finally had to settle second place.

Ramping up the comedy appears to have been a good idea for adapting the forgettable 80s cop drama to the big screen. With a $35 million take, 21 Jump Street become the second-highest grossing R-rated comedy behind Jackass 3-D to open outside of the summer (May-August) season. Compared to other television big-screen adaptations, it was even better, beating the likes of Dukes of Hazzard ($30.7 million), Starsky and Hutch ($28.1 million), Miami Vice ($25.7 million) and The A-Team ($25.7 million). Talks of a sequel are already happening, and why not? With a reported budget of just $42 million, and both healthy reviews and audience reaction, why wouldn't they go down this road again?

Dropping to second place, The Lorax still took in $22.8 million (off 41.3%) and its total now stands at $158.4 million. It passed Horton Hears a Who! ($154.5 million) and trails Despicable Me by a scant $3 million. A $200 million total isn't out of the question.

Things weren't so good for John Carter. After a disappointing opening, people hoping that word of mouth would spurn audiences did not have their wished come true. Dropping over 55% and landing in third place with $13.5 million, the film has taken in just $53.1 million - well behind Prince of Persia and 10,000 B.C. through the same point. Thought some courageous fans have been calling for an sequel but I have a strong feeling the online petition will fall on deaf ears, no matter how well it does internationally.

Facing competition for its core audience, Project X took the biggest hit of the week, dropping over 64% to wind up in fourth place with $4 million. With $48 million in the bank already, the found-footage ultimate party film has to be considered a win and expect this genre to branch out beyond horror with returns like this.

Despite only opening in 382 theaters, Will Ferrel's Spanish comedy Casa de mi Padre managed to crack the top ten, finding the ninth spot with $2.2 million. While that may seem like a small number, compare that to Silent House, which dropped outside of the top 10 in its second week, played in over 2,000 theaters and made only $2 million.

Next week all eyes will turn towards The Hunger Games - early review are already creeping in and they have been positively glowing. We'll see if all the hype can push it over the $200 million - but no matter where it stands, it will certainly be the first blockbuster of the year.

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