Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Weekend Box Office: '21 Jump Street' Takes The Box Office To School

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist March 18, 2012 at 11:56AM

It really doesn’t matter how popular a show was back in the day - as long as it’s a vaguely recognizable title with a good cast, you’re guaranteed a certain level of results. “SWAT” lasted only one year, memorable mostly for its theme song, and yet the movie version grabbed $37 million back in the summer of 2003. Nine years later, a similar opening has greeted “21 Jump Street,” the television show of which ran for four forgettable years in the late '80s and is more famous for spawning megastar Johnny Depp than for having any great story lines or standout moments.
6
21 Jump Street

It really doesn’t matter how popular a show was back in the day. As long as it’s a vaguely recognizable title with a good cast, you’re guaranteed a certain level of results. “SWAT” lasted only one year, memorable mostly for its theme song, and yet the movie version grabbed $37 million back in the summer of 2003. Nine years later, a similar opening has greeted “21 Jump Street,” the television show of which ran for four forgettable years in the late '80s and is more famous for spawning megastar Johnny Depp than for having any great storylines or standout moments.

“21 Jump Street” existed in that difficult nexus of action comedy, an enormously difficult genre to sell. If you push the action too hard, it makes your protagonists look too capable, and not very funny. Push the comedy, and audiences immediately know that when bullets start flying you won’t have to take anything seriously. Despite the inherent disposability of a movie adaptation of “21 Jump Street,” the film connected hard with opening weekend audiences, and we suspect the 'B' Cinemascore is likely due to those not necessarily expecting the deadly serious show to morph into a balls-and-drugs gagfest.

Sony helped continue the trend of this year, handily outperforming 2011 by emphasizing its stars. Jonah Hill, fresh off his Oscar nomination, probably can’t sell a movie on his own quite yet (“The Sitter” for example, though it coulda just been the film itself), but an inspired pairing helps, likely with a female-friendly lead as in Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” or Michael Cera in “Superbad.” He couldn’t have found a more apt counterpoint than Channing Tatum, coming off the year’s biggest domestic release, the strongly female-skewing “The Vow.” Tatum’s had three movies this year, and the last two have opened big, just in time for Warner Bros. to finalize their marketing strategy for Tatum’s summer-slated male stripper opus “Magic Mike.” And of course,  great reviews of the genuinely funny and entertaining "21 Jump Street" (including our own) don't hurt either. Lest we forget -- this likely puts “21 Jump Street 2” on the fast track once that new script is done.

The Lorax” has weathered two major $30 million plus debuts in the last two weeks, shrugging them off like tweren’t no thang. It passes “Horton Hears A Who” this weekend to become the second highest grossing Dr. Seuss adaptation, though it likely won’t reach the absolutely unreal domestic tally of Ron Howard’s creatively bankrupt “The Grinch.” Worldwide is a different story, though, and it’s expected to pull in some serious foreign dollars as it expands worldwide.

John Carter” took a customary blockbuster fall in its second weekend, losing a little over half its audience. The cavalry of word-of-mouth didn’t show for the displaced spaceman, and Disney likely stopped worrying about the film’s domestic take, casting its eye overseas where the film is expected to do more than double its final American gross. Expect its hopes to crack six figures in America dashed by the coming arrival of “The Hunger Games.”

In its third weekend, “Project X” seems poised to wrap it up. The teen-aimed flick likely lost a huge chunk of its audience to “21 Jump Street,” though with a healthy gross approaching $60 million, it’s a tremendous win. There’s some tight numbers for the fifth spot in the top five, though the top three films at the box office swallowed quite a bit of business. “A Thousand Words” might actually jump over a couple of titles to land at the five spot, though that’s a wimpy consolation prize considering the film’s tepid response thus far. “Act Of Valor” is making its way to $70 million domestic, a number that’s either strong or satisfactory depending on rumors of the ambitious p&a campaign.

Safe House” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” are still hanging around, two of the year’s biggest hits hard to separate at the bottom of the top ten. "Journey" is making a play towards $300 million worldwide, while “Safe House” is likely to hit $200 million, both proving that the movie star system still lives with the likes of Dwayne Johnson and Denzel Washington.

Surprising everyone in limited release was “Casa de mi Padre.” The Will Ferrell-en-Español comedy, distributed by Lionsgate, pulled in over $2.2 million at only 382 locations dispite middling reviews from critics generally warm to his films and antics (including us). There are literally no comparable titles to this, a low-budget Spanish-language oddity from a major comedic star, though its likely an attempt to increase Ferrell’s global profile, since the popular comedian flatlines overseas. Not so successful was the somewhat questionably-titled "Jeff Who Lives At Home," which grabbed $840k at 254 theaters.

There were a couple of new kids on the indie block, with Nicolas Cage's "Seeking Justice" also receiving a middle-ranged release. The thriller, which has already been dumped overseas, generated a weak $260k at 231 theaters, averaging about $1.1k per-screen. A much healthier, though much smaller limited release was had by "Kid With A Bike," which opened at three theaters, collecting $51k. "Detachment" also opened to considerably weaker numbers, with $11k on two screens.

Amongst holdovers was the arthouse hit "A Separation," which seems to be winding down, though it collected another $510k this weekend to bring its total to $5.6 million."Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" expanded, meanwhile, moving from 18 to 62 engagements for a not bad $455k tally in week two. And Oscar nominee "Footnote" is still garnering strong interest in its limited release, expanding from two to six theaters and averaging $12k per-screen for a $72k weekend take. Support your local arthouse theaters, boys and girls.

1. 21 Jump Street (Sony) - $35 million
2. Dr. Seuss’ What Are You Doing To My Corpse, Please Stop (Universal) - $22.8 million ($158 mil.)  
3. John Carter, But Not Of Mars, No Matter What Anyone Tells You, Especially That One Guy (Disney) - $13.5 million ($53 mil.)
4. Project X (WB) - $4 million ($48 mil.)
5. At Least It’s Not “Meet Dave” (Paramount) - $3.8 million ($12 mil.)
6. Act Of Valor (Relativity) - $3.8 million ($63 mil.)
7. Safe House Party (Universal) - $2.9 million ($120 mil.)
8. Journey 2: Journeypalooza (WB/New Line) - $2.7 million ($93 mil.)
9. Casa De Mi Padre (Lionsgate) - $2.2 million
10. This Means War Horse (Fox) - $2.3 million ($51 mil.)
 

This article is related to: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street, John Carter Of Mars, Casa De Mi Padre, The Lorax, Weekend Box-Office


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates