By Daniel Garris
Sony's 22 Jump Street won this weekend's box office battle with relative ease with a strong first place debut of $57.07 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 towards the lower end of its lofty expectations this weekend, though it should be noted that the film performed $3.1 million softer on Sunday than had been estimated by Sony yesterday. The film opened an impressive 57 percent stronger than the $36.30 million debut of 2012's 21 Jump Street and 14 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 impressive per-location average of $17,263 for the frame.
22 Jump Street debuted with $25.14 million on Friday (which included $5.5 million from evening shows on Thursday), declined 25.5 percent on Saturday to gross $18.73 million (the decline being quite understandable given the size of the film's Thursday night start) and fell 29.5 percent on Sunday for a Father's Day gross of $13.20 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at just 2.27 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 $49.45 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation debuted below pre-release expectations. The film's start was quite 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 13 percent ahead of the $43.73 million opening weekend take of 2010's How to Train Your Dragon, it debuted 40 percent softer than the $82.43 million start of last year's Monsters University.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 debuted with $18.44 million on Friday (which included a relatively large $2 million from evening shows on Thursday), declined 6 percent on Saturday to gross $17.32 million and fell 21 percent to gross $13.69 million on Father's Day. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a so-so 2.68 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 a third place take of $18.50 million. The 3D fantasy blockbuster starring Angelina Jolie was down 46 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 $163.02 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 take of $16.53 million. The critically acclaimed sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt was down a healthy 43 percent from last weekend. The strong second weekend hold was much needed given the film's large price tag. Edge of Tomorrow has grossed $57.00 million through ten days of release. That places the film 12 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 69 percent this weekend to place in fifth with $14.79 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 $80.77 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 $9.82 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 35 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 $206.26 million through 24 days.