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New in Theaters June 13: How to Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street

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By Chris Kavan - 06/12/14 at 06:39 AM CT

So far this season, not one summer film has been able to keep the top spot for more than a single week. Although Fault in Our Stars had an exceptional opening, it also had an exceptional Friday-to-Saturday drop - one that tells me it will be the next film to be one and done at the top spot. This weekend sees two sequels opening - one to an animated hit, the other to a well-received comedy. You always have to give the edge to family films - see the returns of Despicable Me 2 last year - and I have a feeling that will be the case again this year.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 I admit, I have yet to see the original How to Train Your Dragon - and, I have to admit, I have wanted to check it out. I am a fan of animated films and am not ashamed of it one bit. The original film made over $217 million domestically and nearly $500 million world-wide. Now, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is coming at a fortuitous time - although Maleficent could be considered a "family" film - the last animated film at the box office was Rio 2 - nine weeks ago. And there isn't a another animated film scheduled until Planes: Fire & Rescue in July. Given the circumstances, if Dragon 2 is in any way, shape or form as popular as the original, this is going to be a box office titan. Whether it can match the $368 million that Despicable Me 2 brought in last year is the real question - but it has a good chance if only because the competition is non-existent and families have to be antsy for film like this. The characters in this film look to have grown up quite a bit from the original movie, but the vocal talent is still there returning to the sequel include Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig with new characters being voiced by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou and Kit Harington. All in all a great mix of veterans and relative newcomers - comedy and drama - and if they can make a compelling story (for adults as well as their children) this could easily topple The Lego Movie as the biggest animated hit of the year.

22 JUMP STREET Who would have thought that teaming up Jonah Hill with Channing Tatum would have led to such good returns? The broad comedy 21 Jump Street (based on the TV series of the same name) took the idea of inserting cops in a high school and turned it on its head. Tatum and Hill were the "undercover" officers, a bit old for the part, yet audiences supported it - to the tune of $138.4 million - and, on a $42 million budget, that was a great response. But can lighting strike twice? Tatum and Hill are back, and going back undercover - in college instead of high school this time - and I have to admit, it still looks good. Once again, I have yet to see the original in this series - I have wanted to, but it just hasn't happened yet. Comedies have been hit and miss lately (mostly miss) but I have heard from friends this is a better-than-expected comedy and that the duo truly work well off one another. If the sequel can channel that good will the original had, it might be the bromantic comedy of the year, and perhaps one of the highest-grossing as well.

I'm pretty confident that How to Train Your Dragon 2 will easily take the top spot over the weekend - the only question is how high it will open. We'll also see if 22 Jump Street can also be a worthy successor and what that means for last week's Fault in Our Stars as well as for The Edge of Tomorrow.


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