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.