Sunday Update: Sony's 22 Jump Street won this weekend's box office battle with relative ease with an estimated first place debut of $60.0 million. The highly anticipated action comedy sequel starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum had been expected to find itself in a close battle for first place with How to Train Your Dragon 2. 22 Jump Street opened in line with its lofty expectations this weekend. The film opened an impressive 65 percent stronger than the $36.30 million debut of 2012's 21 Jump Street and 10 percent below the $66.41 million breakout debut of last year's World War Z. 22 Jump Street registered the second largest opening weekend ever for an R-rated comedy (behind only the $85.95 million opening weekend take of 2011's The Hangover Part II). The film had an especially impressive per-location average of $18,149 for the frame.
22 Jump Street debuted with $25.2 million on Friday (which included $5.5 million from evening shows on Thursday), declined 26 percent on Saturday to gross $18.75 million (the decline being quite understandable given the size of the film's Thursday night start) and is estimated to fall 14 percent on Sunday for a Father's Day gross of $16.05 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.38 to 1. While that ratio does indicate significant initial front-loading, the film is likely to be helped out going forward by strong word of mouth (it received an A- rating on CinemaScore and has been well received by critics) and by the relative lack of surefire blockbusters entering the marketplace over the next three weeks (with the one exception being Paramount's Transformers: Age of Extinction). 22 Jump Street was helped out greatly by having clear four-quadrant appeal. The audience breakdown for the film was split evenly between male and female moviegoers and skewed towards moviegoers under 25 (56 percent).
How to Train Your Dragon 2 took second place with an estimated $50.0 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation debuted below pre-release expectations. The film's start was underwhelming, especially given that the film was widely expected to be among the summer's highest grossing films domestically. Holding power will now be even more important for How to Train Your Dragon 2 going forward and will ultimately determine whether or not the film's overall domestic performance is a disappointment. While How to Train Your Dragon 2 opened 14 percent ahead of the $43.73 million opening weekend take of 2010's How to Train Your Dragon, it debuted 39 percent softer than the $82.43 million start of last year's Monsters University.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 debuted with $18.5 million on Friday (which included a relatively large $2 million from evening shows on Thursday), declined 7 percent on Saturday to gross $17.18 million and is estimated to fall 17 percent to gross $14.33 million on Father's Day. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a so-so 2.70 to 1. On the positive side of things, with strong early word of mouth (the film received a strong A rating on CinemaScore) and no new computer animated films entering the marketplace until Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue arrives on July 18, odds are extremely strong that How to Train Your Dragon 2 will hold up very well going forward. The original film boasted an especially impressive total gross to opening weekend ratio of 4.98 to 1.
Disney's Maleficent continued to hold up relatively well this weekend with an estimated third place take of $19.01 million. The 3D fantasy blockbuster starring Angelina Jolie was down 45 percent from last weekend, which represented a very solid hold when considering the new direct competition the film faced from How to Train Your Dragon 2. Maleficent has grossed a strong $163.52 million through 17 days of release. That places Maleficent 34 percent ahead of the $122.06 million 17-day gross of 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman. With the debuts of both The Fault in Our Stars and How to Train Your Dragon 2 now out of the way, Maleficent has a strong chance of beginning to hold up even better than it already has going forward.
After a lackluster start last weekend, Warner's Edge of Tomorrow held up nicely this weekend with a fourth place estimated take of $16.18 million. The critically acclaimed sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt was down a healthy 44 percent from last weekend. The strong second weekend hold was much needed given the film's large price tag. Edge of Tomorrow has grossed $56.65 million through ten days of release. That places the film 13 percent behind the $65.09 million ten-day take of last year's Oblivion (which fell 52 percent in its second weekend to gross $17.80 million). With strong word of mouth and continued summer midweek business ahead, Edge of Tomorrow should continue to gain ground going forward in the comparison with Oblivion.
On the heels of last weekend's very strong first place start, Fox's The Fault in Our Stars tumbled four spots and 67 percent this weekend to place in fifth with an estimated $15.73 million. Despite good word of mouth, the low-budget drama starring Shailene Woodley had been expected to fall off sharply this weekend, due largely to the film's sizable built-in audience from the novel it was adapted from. In the larger picture, The Fault in Our Stars is still performing very well with a ten-day take of $81.70 million (especially with its low price tag in mind). With its expected large second weekend decline out of the way and continued strong summer midweek business likely ahead of it, The Fault in Our Stars could still stabilize going forward.
Fellow Fox release X-Men: Days of Future Past placed in sixth with an estimated $9.5 million. It appears that the positive word of mouth for the 3D superhero sequel may be starting to kick in at the box office, as the film was down just 37 percent from last weekend. The film also received some added help this weekend from the Father's Day holiday. X-Men: Days of Future Past surpassed the $200 million domestic milestone on Saturday (the film's 23rd day of release) and has grossed $205.94 million through 24 days.
Saturday Update: Sony reports that 22 Jump Street grossed a stellar $25 million on opening day, including Thursday's $5.5 million preview grosses. That blows away the first film's $13.2 million first day back in March 2012, while also topping the $19.6 million and $20.6 million respective bows of Neighbors and Ted. BoxOffice projects $63 million for the opening weekend as a whole.
Early word of mouth appears excellent with an "A-" CinemaScore and a strong 91 percent from Flixster's audience as of Saturday morning--significantly ahead of Neighbors's 80 percent score at the same point after release. Critics have also raved about the Phil Lord/Chris Miller-helmed sequel (their second flick this year after The LEGO Movie) with an 83 percent Rotten Tomatoes score--exceptional by comedy sequel standards. Rumor has it that the sequel's production budget clocked in around $50 million, meaning the film is well on its way to profitability in a very short of amount of time.
Meanwhile, Fox/DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 claimed $18.5 million on Friday (including $2 million from Thursday). That's a bit shy of Madagascar 3's $20.7 million first day two Junes ago, and even further behind Monsters University's $30.5 million last year. However, neither of those films opened on Father's Day weekend. Additionally, initial word of mouth on Dragon 2 is excellent with the film garnering 92 percent scores from both Flixster audiences and Rotten Tomatoes critics. With the potential for some backloading toward Saturday and Sunday due to the family holiday, and the potential for long legs as the summer's only animated release until Disney's Planes sequel, Dragon 2 has an overall healthy outlook. For this weekend, BoxOffice projects $54 million.
Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that 22 Jump Street is pacing for an impressive $60 million+ opening weekend based on Friday business thus far, while How To Train Your Dragon 2 is racing close behind with an eye toward $55-57 million this weekend.
Check back later for further updates on Friday projections, and Saturday morning for weekend projections based off official studio estimates.
Friday Update #1: Sources report that Sony's 22 Jump Street bagged an excellent $5.5 million from Thursday evening shows. That's a big start to the weekend ahead for the anticipated sequel, more than double the $2.56 million Thursday night start of Neighbors last month. Jump's nature as a sequel could result in more frontloading than that pic, but either way, Sony is set for a strong weekend ahead.
Meanwhile, Fox/DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 earned a healthy $2 million last night. That compares favorably against the $2.6 million start of Pixar's Monsters University last June. The lower turnout could be written off by the lack of Pixar's faithful fan base for Dragon, but that's a solid start for the sequel.
Reviews and preliminary word of mouth are strong for both new openers, so you can expect a very busy Father's Day weekend ahead.
More to come...