Deuces Wild for Jump and Dragon at Weekend Box Office
By John Hamann
June 15, 2014
The original Jump Street opened to $36.3 million in March of 2012, so this is a significant improvement over the original. The first film was also extremely leggy, earning an opening-to-total multiplier of 3.8, on its way toward a domestic total of $138.4 million. The original cost $42 million to produce, and the sequel was not ridiculously higher at $50 million, as we see with some sequels. Given the debut, this one is going to see profit from the domestic side alone, but with Neighbors' ($49 million opening) cost of only $18 million, Sony still might be a little enviable of the Universal result.
Reviews were much like the first – way better than expected. I think that is why both of these films have worked so well – they look stupid and the premise is shaky at best. When the first movie came came in at 85% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and the sequel is 83% fresh, we know it must be funny. This tells us that reviews helped to drive audiences to the megaplex. Even the film snobs love it, as the top critic rating at RT was even better, at 90% fresh. 22 Jump Street also earned an A- Cinemascore, so there is every reason to think that another leggy success could be in store. The original Jump Street faced off against the first Hunger Games in its second weekend, so a Transformers sequel in Jump Street’s third weekend is no cause for concern. In the end, this one will be bigger domestically, and will certainly beat the original’s overseas take of $63 million, as it got started with $8 million in the UK last weekend, whereas the original earned only $2.5 million in the UK over opening weekend.
Finishing second this weekend is How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to the successful and very well-reviewed original. The sequel was looking to improve on the softer-than-expected open of the original, which left a few heads scratching when it opened to $43.7 million in March 2010 (it then of course went on to dominate the planet). The sequel got started on Thursday, earning $2 million from previews, a normal amount for an animated flick. The Friday amount blossomed nicely, turning into a Friday take of $18.5 million, or $16.5 million once the previews are removed. That’s significantly higher than the $12.1 million the original earned on its first Friday, but nowhere near a Maleficent Friday of $24.3 million, which took it to an opening frame of $69.4 million.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 would have been looking for a lift on Saturday from the Friday result, but instead the film was down slightly, telling us that Friday had a bit of a fanboy rush. The Saturday number was $17.1 million, a decline of 7%. The Sunday was estimated at $14.3 million, which means Dragon 2 finishes the weekend with an estimated take of $50 million. While not mind-blowing, the sequel did manage to improve on the original’s opening ($43.7 million). Also, the film cost $20 million less to produce, as the original cost $165 million to make, and the sequel $145 million. Despite the decrease in cost, the sequel is still going to need over $400 million worldwide for DreamWorks Animation to avoid a second consecutive writedown, after Mr. Peabody and Sherman caused a $57 million shortfall on the company’s books. However, with the original Dragon earning $495 million worldwide, and a wide open schedule ahead, DreamWorks shouldn’t have to worry.