Sony/MGM’s “22 Jump Street” is firing on all cylinders at the Friday box office with an estimated $60 million-plus opening, according to early estimates, slightly ahead of this weekend’s other top performer “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”
Should it hold, the R-rated comedy sequel would mark the highest-grossing debut of both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s careers.
DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” follow-up, meanwhile, is looking at a solid $54 million-plus opening in second place.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox, the family-friendly “Dragon” is expected to have longer legs at the box office than “Jump Street,” one of the few animated releases of the summer. The first “Dragon” was similarly well positioned in 2010 when it debuted to $43 million before going on to earn $215 million domestically and a total of nearly $500 million globally.
Both “Jump Street” and “How to Train Your Dragon” garnered stellar reviews (83% sand 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively) and continue to ride strong buzz heading into Father’s Day weekend.
“These movies are perfectly counter-programmed,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, recently told Variety. “When you have a variety of entertainment options in the marketplace, it enhances the marketplace.”
Last week’s champ “The Fault in Our Stars” is neck-and-neck with Tom Cruise’s big-budget holdover “Edge of Tomorrow” for third place with $16 million apiece.
“Edge of Tomorrow,” distributed by Warner Bros., has grossed $150 million worldwide but with a $175 million price tag, the alien invasion movie will need to heat up quickly to avoid becoming one of the first major casualties of the summer.
This weekend’s indie releases include Robert Pattinson’s “The Rover” and Sundance pic “Hellion,” starring Aaron Paul.