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Weekend Box Office: Jump Street Holds of Dragon 2 in the Battle of the Box Office Sequels

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By Chris Kavan - 06/15/14 at 08:40 PM CT

It was pretty much a given the box office champ was going to a sequel this weekend, but would audiences go for an R-rated buddy comedy or the family-friendly dragon-riders? You would think the animated film would have the edge, but if you bet on it this weekend, you would have lost. Both films came out swinging, but in the end adult humor trumped the safe family film - though both are likely to wind up just fine in the box office department.

1) 22 JUMP STREET

I guess you can call Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum the real dynamic duo now. After getting a nice little return with 21 Jump Street - 22 Jump Street showed a significant improvement when it opened to $60 million over the weekend. In fact, that's the second-highest opening for an R-rated comedy, only failing to match The Hangover Part II ($85.9 million). But it was far and away better than the $36 million opening for 21 Jump Street. And people were happy - both critics and an "A-" Cinemascore essentially guarantee the film will hit $150 million - and even $200 million is not out of the question. The audience was evenly split between men and women and ran younger (56% under 25) and the word of mouth should keep it in the top 5 for awhile. It also good news for director's Phil Lord and Chris Miller - who had another certified hit in The Lego Movie earlier in the year (all four films they have directed have opened in the top spot with over $30 million each). For once, what was advertised was exactly what you got - and trailers didn't spoil all the best jokes. With the good will from the original film still fresh in people's minds - it was a recipe for success and, with this success, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the two team up for another go.

2) HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

With 22 Jump Street winning the battle of the sequels, Dragon 2 had to settle for runner-up. The film took in $50 million for the weekend, which was an improvement over the first film ($43.7 million) though not by that sizable of margin. It is also the first animated film to open in June with less than $60 million since Ratatouille ($47 million) back in 2007. I think the main reason 22 Jump Street won the weekend is that it has been just two years since 21 Jump Street came out, where it has been four years since we first saw How to Train Your Dragon. It is often the case that the longer you wait between sequels, the more diminished your returns. Despite the popularity of the first film, it may have lost that momentum. The move did earn an even better "A" Cinemascore from audiences - and that audience was also young (56% under 25 - same as 22 Jump Street) and was slightly more female (53%). The best thing going for Dragon 2 is that it has virtually no competition coming its way - at least a month - and that means that it should have an excellent run. Even though it opened higher, it is going to have an uphill battle to match the $218 million total of the original film.

3) MALEFICENT

Another good weekend for Angelina Jolie and this villainous take on Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent dipped a light 44.6% and took in just over $19 million to raise its total to $163.5 million - passing Snow White and the Huntsman in the process. It will easily pass its $180 million budget and still looks like a lock to cross the $200 million mark before it exits theaters.



4) EDGE OF TOMORROW

It may have had a somewhat disappointing opening, but thanks to strong word-of-mouth (including from yours truly), Edge of Tomorrow had a light 44% drop itself in its second weekend. That is better than Tom Cruise's last sci-fi outing, Oblivion, which took a 52% hit in its second weekend. With $16.2 million in the bank, Edge of Tomorrow upped its total to $56.6 million. While it is still betting on international returns to boost it - at least it's now looking like it could hit at least $100 million domestically.

5) THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

Given the heavily front-loaded debut for The Fault in Our Stars, it was inevitable it was going to have a rough second weekend. It might have been a bit rougher than it would have liked as Fault took a massive 67% drop - from 1st to 5th place. It still brought in $15.7 million - and its total now stands at $81.7 million and, on a modest $12 million budget - is still a major hit. Even with the dip, the film will also cross the $100 million mark before too long.

Outside the top five: X-Men: Days of Future Past crossed the $200 million mark, and topped The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to become the highest-grossing summer film in the process, taking in $9.5 million (6th place) for a new total of $206 million. Although it trails Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the US, it has topped it in the international market with $456 million (and climbing).

Next week we'll see if Kevin Hart can continue his winning streak with Think Like a Man Too - and we also get the Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort, based on the life, and music, of the men who comprised The Four Seasons: Jersey Boys.

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