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Box office update: '22 Jump Street' in early lead with a huge $25 million Friday

Two very strong sequels — 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 — are battling for a top spot at the weekend box office, but early indications put the bumbling cop comedy in the lead. Not surprisingly, the R-rated sequel starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum won the derby Friday night with estimates putting the film at $25 million for the day. Sony Pictures, who co-financed the film with MGM, is now predicting 22 Jump Street will gross $60 million for the weekend, putting it above other R-rated summer comedies like Ted ($54.4 million) and Sex in the City ($57 million.)

“This one feels really good,” says Sony’s distribution prez Rory Bruer of Jump Street when reached Saturday morning. “It’s our highest-tested R-rated comedy ever at our research screenings. Focus groups loved it — thought it was hilarious and funnier than the first. We’re going to end up being the second-highest R-rated comedy ever.”

Jump‘s numbers solidly beat out Dreamworks’ animated family film How to Train Your Dragon 2, which nabbed an estimated $18.5 million for the second slot Friday. But things could all turn around today, when families start mobilizing their troops to the dragon flick featuring voice talent from Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, and Gerard Butler.

Third place on Friday went to the three-hankie weeper The Fault in Our Stars, which continues its impressive run. The $12 million film based on the popular John Green novel nabbed an additional $6.4 million its second Friday in release, putting its total at $72.3 million.

Disney’s Maleficient is likely to take a tumble with so many young ones opting for Toothless the dragon in its opening weekend. But the reimagined Disney fairy tale starring Angelina Jolie earned an estimated $5.84 Friday, putting its gross at a solid $144.5 million.

Tom Cruise’s starring vehicle The Edge of Tomorrow is likely to suffer the worst in its second weekend. The film took in only $4.56 million on Friday, for a domestic total that now stands at $45 million.

Here’s the top 5:

1. 22 Jump Street — $25 million

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — $18.5 million

3. The Fault in Our Stars — $6.4 million

4. Maleficient — $5.8 million

5. The Edge of Tomorrow — $4.56 million

Check back Sunday morning for a more comprehensive report.

Box office preview: Sequel showdown

Here’s an interesting conundrum: This weekend we have two sequels opening wide — 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Both of the first films did well critically and at the box office, and both sequels are pretty much guaranteed a terrific debut and a healthy life thanks to the enormously positive reviews. They’re even tracking similarly, with analysts predicting openings in the $50 million to $60 million range.

But, in this box office horse race, there has to be a winner, even if in this case second place isn’t going to be bad. At all. We could be lame and call it a tie, but what would be the point of that?

Here’s how things might play out: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Fault in Our Stars' takes the top spot with $48.2 million; 'Edge of Tomorrow' settles for third

Cue the faux-surprise. Female-targeted films A Fault in Our Stars and Maleficent wiped the floor with the competition, forcing Tom Cruise’s more teenage boy-friendly Edge of Tomorrow into a third-spot opening. Women made up a staggering 82 percent of the opening-weekend audience for the adaptation of John Green’s YA novel about teenage cancer patients—comparatively, Twilights initial audience was only 75 percent female. The film made $48.2 million, vaulting it alongside Love Story in the firmament of emotionally and financially resonant weepies. That’s less than the $56 million Divergent made its first three days out, but that other Shailene Woodley-starring YA adaptation cost a whole lot more.

Of course, Fault’s success will probably level out in the coming weeks once the film’s steadfast fanbase decides that their eighth bawl-filled screening is enough. (It was a 52 percent drop from Friday to Saturday alone.) But even considering just this weekend, the adaptation is an unqualified success for Fox and stands as more not-quite-shocking evidence that when you target movies at a demographic that’s typically underserved—particularly in the summer months—you can reap pretty big dividends. Especially when that demographic represents half of the world’s population. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Fault in Our Stars' prompts flow of tears and cash

The teenaged protagonists of The Fault in Our Stars may be star-crossed, but their box-office performance is anything but. Millions of moviegoers whipped out their wallets and hankies, in that order, to catch Fox’s tear-jerking adaptation of John Green’s popular YA novel about a pair of amorous adolescents (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) battling cancer. The film added to its phenomenal $8.2 million Thursday-night take to bring its total to $26.1 million on Friday. That’s more than two-and-a-half times what Tom Cruise’s sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow managed.

It’s also more than Woodley’s other YA vehicle, Divergent, made on its first day of release. Green’s fanbase is an especially dedicated one, so it’s to be expected that the film’s success would be front-loaded; but with a projected opening weekend take of somewhere around $60 million, it’s still beyond impressive. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: The teens take on Tom Cruise

This weekend, a powerful genre battles a powerful movie star as the YA sensation The Fault in Our Stars opens against Tom Cruise’s sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow. But who will prevail — especially when Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent is still lurking in the background?

Here’s how things might play out. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Maleficent' reigns with $70 million; 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' disappoints

Maleficent managed to enchant audiences and take flight opening weekend while Seth MacFarlane’s sophomore effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, stumbled out of the gates.

Disney’s gothic fantasy, a PG-rated re-imagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty villain starring Angelina Jolie in the titular role, netted an estimated $70 million from 3,948 locations — $6.7 million of which was from the 347 IMAX screens. Boasting an A Cinema Score, the $180 million pic also brought in $100.6 million internationally from 47 territories (40 percent ahead of Oz: The Great and Powerful), bringing its global cume to a mighty $170.6 million. It opens in China on June 20 and in Japan on July 4.

READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Maleficent' casts a $24.2 million spell on Friday

Maleficent may be bitter that she wasn’t invited to Princess Aurora’s christening, but things aren’t so bad for the scorned fairy. Disney’s gothic fantasy brought in an impressive $24.2 million in its first day in theaters (including Thursday’s $4.2 million earnings) — similar to last year’s Oz: The Great and Powerful.

This puts the PG-rated Maleficent on track to surpass expectations and possibly reach $70 million by the time the weekend closes out. It’s playing in 3,948 locations, many of which are the higher-priced 3-D and IMAX screens.

READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Maleficent' stares down 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'

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Angelina Jolie and her threatening cheekbones face off against Seth MacFarlane and his (somewhat equally threatening) comedy empire this weekend as Disney’s Maleficent debuts against Universal’s A Million Ways to Die in the West.

MacFarlane’s Ted might have been the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, but in this genre duel, much like his character in A Million Ways, MacFarlane will wither in the face of Disney’s scorned and vengeful fairy. That has nothing to do with the lifetime prospects of MacFarlane’s sophomore effort, of course. Comedies tend to open modestly — especially original ones. But we’re just talking opening weekends, and these two mismatched pics had the (mis?)fortune of choosing the same late-spring date.

Here’s how things might play out: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' electrifies with an $111 million four-day weekend

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The mutants might be fighting for their lives in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but everything is smooth-sailing for the explosive, star-studded saga at the box office.

Professor X (old and young) and his friends helped usher in a mighty $111 million domestically for X-Men’s first four days in theaters. It now ranks fifth among the top Memorial Day weekend openings of all time, behind last year’s Fast & Furious 6 ($117 million) and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand ($122.9 million). The $200 million pic also opened day and date in most major markets internationally to a cool $171.1 million. Technically the seventh installment in the long-running franchise, this super debut bodes well for X-Men: Apocalypse, set to open on the same spot on the calendar in 2016.

READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' still leads Memorial Day movies with $90.7 million

X-Men: Days of Future Past is easily cementing its spot as the top earner this Memorial Day weekend, bringing in $90.7 million by Sunday and proving that nothing kicks off the unofficial start of summer quite like the time-honored tradition of seeing superheroes and villains duke it out for the good of the country.

The time-travel film — directed by Bryan Singer and starring Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellan, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence — is now on track to make at least $110 million over the long weekend, making it the second-largest holiday opening for the Fox franchise. (X-Men: The Last Stand took in $1o2.7 million in its first three days of release during Memorial Day weekend 2006). As expected, X-Men: Days of Future Past did well among international moviegoers, opening in 119 countries and territories for a global revenue of $261.78 million. READ FULL STORY

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