‘21 Jump Street’ Is Top Film With Sales of $36.3 Million

“21 Jump Street,” a film spoof of the 1980s TV series that starred Johnny Depp, led the U.S. and Canadian box office this past weekend, generating $36.3 million in ticket sales for Sony Corp. (6758)’s Columbia Pictures.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” the No. 1 film for the previous two weekends, fell to second place with $22.8 million in receipts for Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures, Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement. Will Ferrell’s “Casa de mi Padre” and Jason Segel’s “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” opened in limited release.

“21 Jump Street” was forecast to pull in $28 million to $31 million, the estimates of Box Office Guru and Box Office.com. The film’s “R” rating may limit its appeal, according to Gitesh Pandya, editor of Box Office Guru.

“This is a great opening for Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and it helps that this was the only new film in wide release,” said Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations Co. in Los Angeles, in a telephone interview.

“21 Jump Street” features Hill and Tatum as a pair of young cops sent to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. The original series, a TV drama, ran from 1987 to 1991, according to the Internet Movie Database.

The film isn’t so much a send-up of ’80s cop shows as a send-up of movies that send up ’80s cop shows, Bloomberg critic Greg Evans said in his review.

‘John Carter’

Production credits for the picture include Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Studios Inc. and Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media LLC, according to IMDB. The film was made for an estimated $42 million, according to film researcher Box Office Mojo.

In “The Lorax,” written by the children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, a 12-year-old boy battles to win the affection of a girl and restore nature in his overly industrialized world.

In the process, he learns the story of the Lorax, an acerbic creature who tried to save trees from developers. The computer-animated film features the voices of Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift and Zac Efron. The film has taken in $158.4 million since it opened on March 2.

Among other returning films, Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s big-budget film “John Carter” collected $13.6 million in its second weekend, falling to third place from second.

The film, produced at an estimated cost of $250 million, according to IMDB.com, tells the story of an American Civil War veteran who suddenly finds himself on Mars. Empowered with great strength because of the planet’s lighter gravity, he joins in a conflict among its inhabitants.

‘A Thousand Words’

“Project X,” the R-rated teen comedy from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros., had $4 million in receipts in its third week, placing fourth. The film, which follows three high-school seniors as they plan a birthday party that explodes into a drug- fueled bash, has taken in $48.2 million since opening.

“That has been a huge boon for Warner Bros.,” Bock said. “They’re already talking about making a sequel.”

Eddie Murphy’s “A Thousand Words” earned $3.6 million to finish in sixth place. The comedian plays a slippery literary agent who falls under a curse that limits the number of words he has left to speak. The film from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures also features Alison Janney and Clark Duke.

Revenue Up Slightly

“Casa de mi Padre” opened with sales of $2.3 million in 382 theaters, to finish in ninth place. The comedy, distributed in the U.S. by Pantelion Films, a partnership of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) and Grupo Televisa SAB, features Ferrell as the son of a cash-strapped Mexican rancher. He battles a drug lord after his younger brother’s financial rescue plan turns out to be trouble.

Opening in 254 theaters, “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” collected $855,000 in sales for the Paramount Vantage label. It finished 17th in the rankings.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films fell 5.4 percent to $97.8 million from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. For the year to date, box-office sales have risen 16 percent to $2.2 billion and attendance is up 19 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for March 16 to March 18.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
 1 21 JUMP STREET     $36.3   3,121   $11,632   --    $36.3    1
 2 THE LORAX           22.8   3,769     6,040  -41    158.4    3
 3 JOHN CARTER         13.6   3,749     3,620  -55     53.2    2
 4 PROJECT X            4.0   2,922     1,384  -64     48.2    3
 5 ACT OF VALOR         3.7   2,765     1,350  -47     62.5    4
 6 A THOUSAND WORDS     3.6   1,895     1,917  -41     12.0    2
 7 SAFE HOUSE           2.7   1,920     1,415  -43    120.2    6
 8 JOURNEY 2            2.4   1,935     1,234  -34     95.0    6
 9 CASA DE MI PADRE     2.3     382     5,988   --      2.3    1
10 THIS MEANS WAR       2.1   1,660     1,290  -43     50.5    5
11 SILENT HOUSE         2.1   2,124       995  -68     10.6    2
12 THE VOW              2.1   2,175       963  -46    121.2    6


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $97.8        $103.4      -5.4


Year-to-date Revenue

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $2,162        $1,866       +16

Year-to-date Attendance:       +19%

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolume@bloomberg.net; Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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