Weekend Wrap-Up

Think Too Tops Box Office; Jersey Boys Soft

By John Hamann

June 22, 2014

Why is this child leaning on me? And why is this child in jail?

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Finishing a close second this weekend is 22 Jump Street; however, like sequels do, the bottom fell out of this one after opening weekend. After debuting last weekend to $57.1 million (down from the $60 million estimate), 22 Jump Street could only manage $29 million this weekend, a decline of 49%. After opening to $36.3 million, the original fell 44% in its second weekend to $20.5 million, and then showed much better legs in its follow up weekends. The sequel crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, only its eighth day of release, whereas the original took 22 days to get to the century mark. The Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill comedy has now earned $111.5 million stateside, and should see at least $150 million before all is said and done. Overseas, it has opened in only a handful of territories, but has amassed nearly $40 million over there already.

Third is How To Train Your Dragon 2, and was the film I thought would benefit the most from having a weaker crop of openers. Last weekend’s opening for the Dragon sequel was somewhat soft at $49.5 million, so a drop of 34% (like the original did) seemed completely possible. While possible, it didn’t happen, and Dragon 2 followed the trend we’ve seen this summer and fell 48% to $25.3 million in weekend two. The $145 million expended to make this one now seems like far too much, as Dragon 2 only has a gross so far of $95.2 million, compared to the original movie's 10 day total of $92.1 million. For me, this is the head scratcher of the summer so far, as there is no competition, and the original film was an instant classic. It will be interesting to see what happens with it overseas, as it needs at least $400 million worldwide to see a profit. This is Kung Fu Panda 2 all over again, but both those films made a mint overseas.


Fourth is Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood’s return to the director’s chair after his Oscar bait, J. Edgar, fizzled in 2011. Based on the musical of the same name, I am a little surprised to see this one trying to capture the magic of Mamma Mia!, a July release, instead of Les Miserables, a December release. As expected, Jersey Boys opened softly this weekend, earning $13.5 million from 2,905 venues, but if any film is going to find some semblance of legs this summer, it is likely this one. The demo for this one is the grey hairs (my 70-year-old folks are going to see the live performance of this next month), so it could hold decently over the next few weekends. The decidedly mixed reviews are a curveball, though – it earned a 55% fresh rating from general critics at RottenTomatoes, but a slightly better 62% from "top critics". Unlike the Think Like a Man sequel, the Cinemascore of A- for Jersey Boys may help it going forward. Jersey Boys was made for $40 million, a number this one could see domestically for Warner Bros.

Fifth is Maleficent, one of the very few films that has shown any sign of legs this summer. Now in its fourth weekend, Maleficent earned another $13 million, and was off 30% from the previous weekend. X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla all opened to $20 million or more that Maleficent, but by weekend four, all were throwing below $10 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Angelina Jolie starrer earned more than Godzilla and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as the Disney release has now earned $186 million, and should still go strong for another few weekends. Maleficent debuted in China this weekend, and has an overseas total of $336 million. The Disney film cost $180 million to make, so it needs all the help it get to find a profit.

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