HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2--FOX/DREAMWORKS---WIDE---3D---105 MINS---PG
It certainly has been a challenging run for Dreamworks Animation over the last two years. Since June 2012's "Madagascar 3", the company has released four films to mixed results. "The Croods" opened to $43 million back in June of 2012 on its way to $187 million domestic but "Mr. Peabody And Sherman", "Turbo" and "Rise of the Guardians" all under performed. However, none of those titles had the built in awareness of "How To Train Your Dragon 2", which unspools this coming weekend. The original opened to $43 million in March of 2010, ending up at $217 million domestic and $277 million international. Probably the best comparison would be Dreamworks' "Madagascar 2", which opened to $63 million after the original debuted at $47 million. The first "HTTYD" opened to a similar $43 million so with a much higher overall awareness this time around let's say it tops the $70 million ceiling.
JIM'S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $71 MILLION
VOICES: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig
DIRECTOR: Dean Deblois ("HTTYD 1")
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 8:00 PM (with special HTTYD 1 & 2 Double Feature in selected theatres starting at 6:00 PM)
22 JUMP STREET---SONY---WIDE---112 MINS---R
I will admit to having had relatively low expectations when I saw "21 Jump Street" on our release schedule when I worked at Sony. Not that I could never imagine anyone replacing Richard Grieco but rather it was a knee-jerk reaction of why turn a middling TV series into a feature film. Suffice it to say I was hooked after watching the first research screening of the movie and it remains, in my mind, one of the funniest, most clever comedies in recent years. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return for seconds by moving across the street to "22 Jump Street", this time going undercover at a local college. Never mind that Hill is 31 and Tatum is 34, believability was never a Jump Street requirement and is actually part of the in-joke. The original opened to $36 million in March of 2012 and there's no reason to think that a debut in the 40's is out of reach. R rated comedies have, with rare exception (are you listening, Seth MacFarlane?), had a very successful run in 2014 and "22 Jump Street" will certainly continue that trend.
JIM'S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $45 MILLION
CAST: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman
DIRECTORS: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller ("21 Jump Street")
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 7:00 PM (with special "21 Jump Street"/"22 Jump Street" Double Feature in selected theatres starting at 5:00 PM)