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Friday Box Office: '22 Jump Street' and 'Train Your Dragon 2' Both Headed for $50 Million-Plus Weekends

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood June 14, 2014 at 2:37PM

Studios played it safe this weekend opposite the start of the World Cup--which is more damaging to overall box office internationally--by debuting two sequels domestically. Both the well-reviewed "22 Jump Street" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2" look headed to over $50 million for the weekend, a rare occurrence for more than one new film.
'How to Train Your Dragon 2'
'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

Studios played it safe this weekend with two sequels opposite the start of the World Cup, whose early summer timing is more damaging to overall box office internationally. Both films -- "22 Jump Street" (Sony) and "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (DreamWorks Animation & 20th Century Fox) -- were elevated to summer playtime after the first films in these franchises scored strong March performances. Both also received better-than-average critical response to enhance already strong audience interest, with the result that the two films look headed to over $50 million for the weekend, a rare occurrence for more than one new film. 

"Jump Street" grossed $25 million between strong Thursday evening shows and Friday to place #1 for the day and likely for the full weekend with "Dragon," which scored $18.5 million possibly outgrossing it for the rest of the weekend. The combined strength of the two films placed the day (and likely the weekend) slightly behind last year, when "Man of Steel" by itself grossed $116 million (with "This Is the End" adding another $20 million for its start). 

With the combined production budgets of both films coming in close to "Steel"'s cost alone, this is a good result for their studios. Compared to a weekend with a film opening bigger than any of this season's blockbusters, this steadily holding total gross is a decent result overall. (The $145-million"Dragon" is more expensive, and will need major foreign box office to propel it into profit). 

The ongoing weakness for the summer so far -- the lack of any film that shows above-average holds over multiple weeks -- held down the rest of the top 10. Number three "The Fault in Our Stars" (20th Century Fox) at $6,350,000 fell more than 60% from its initial single day Friday even without premium-price night-before figures. Number four "Maleficent" (Buena Vista) continues to hold better (a less than 50% drop) at $5,844,000 for the day. The second weekend for Tom Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow" also looks like it will be down a disappointing close to 50% with Friday coming in at $4,560,000 for #5, with hoped-for, strong word-of-mouth not saving the domestic side of the film's take (foreign is stronger). 

Number six "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (20th Century Fox) took in $2,625,000 and will pass $200 million today. None of the rest of the Top 10 -- in order: "A Million Ways to Die in the West"(Universal), "Godzilla"(Sony), "Neighbors" (Universal) and"Chef" (Open Road) managed to gross even $1 million for the day.

A24's "The Rover" looks to be the best new limited film, but with around $27,000 in five theaters looks to have a PSA of under $20,000 for the weekend -- decent but not a standout.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.