Sony’s ‘22 Jump Street’ Tops ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

“22 Jump Street,” the cop comedy starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, topped the box office in its debut, marking the second straight weekend in which a less costly film outsold a big-budget production.

The Sony Corp. (6758) sequel to 2012’s “21 Jump Street” collected $57.1 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, Rentrak Corp. (RENT) said in a statement today. That topped the $49.5 million for “How to Train Your Dragon 2” from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (DWA), which fell 11 percent to $24.35 in New York trading.

The No. 1 debut of “22 Jump Street” follows the opening the previous weekend of “The Fault in Our Stars,” the romantic teen drama that was made for an estimated $12 million and beat out Warner Bros.’s $178 million Tom Cruise production, “Edge of Tomorrow.” Sony’s new movie gives a lift to the studio, whose “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has generated more than $700 million at the global box office.

“We have a big hit on our hands and it’s certainly because of Jonah and Channing,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, in an interview.

The studio, he said, is “very confident about the rest of our summer and all the way into the fall, and including Christmas. It is a good time for us.”

“22 Jump Street” was projected to generate $65 million in its debut, according to BoxOffice.com. Sony expected the R-rated film, made for $50 million, to generate $45 million to $50 million in its first weekend. Its $57.1 million in receipts makes it the second-highest R-rated debut, Rentrak said, behind “The Hangover Part II” ($85.9 million) in 2011.

Kindred Spirit

The movie was directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, with Hill co-writing the story. Its predecessor generated ticket sales of $36.3 million in its domestic debut and grossed $201.6 million worldwide in 2012, according to Box Office Mojo.

In the new movie, the pair go undercover at a local college to crack a case. Their partnership is tested when Tatum’s character meets a kindred spirit on the football team and Hill’s infiltrates the bohemian art-major scene.

The sequel was well-received by critics, generating an 83 percent positive rating on Rottentomatoes.com, a reviews aggregator.

“More is more and is, at times, just right in ‘22 Jump Street,’ an exploding pinata of gags, pratfalls, winking asides, throwaway one-liners and self-reflexive waggery,” wrote Manohla Dargis, in a review for the New York Times.

Home-Video Revenue

Sony’s last wide-release film, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” opened with sales at the low end of analysts’ projections. The film, which cost an estimated $200 million to produce, is unlikely to make a substantial profit until it’s released through home-entertainment channels, according to Wade Holden, a research analyst at SNL Kagan. The cost of making a movie doesn’t include marketing expenses.

“For the company, it’s going to be a very profitable movie,” Sony’s Bruer said.

“How to Train Your Dragon 2,” distributed by 21st Century Fox Inc., was forecast to bring in $64 million in its weekend debut, according to BoxOffice.com. The first film, distributed by Paramount Pictures in 2010, cost $165 million to make and generated $494.9 million worldwide.

“It’s a disappointing opening, but kids’ movies tend to have a pretty long shelf life throughout the summer,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries in New Jersey. “Given the positive reviews and popularity of the franchise, this movie should play well over the next several weeks at least.”

Rip-Roaring Ride

The new film opened to favorable reviews garnering a 92 percent positive rating on review aggregator, Rottentomatoes.com.

“The animation is crisper than ever,” wrote Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a rip-roaring ride.”

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” picks up the story of the Viking Hiccup and his dragon friend Toothless. When they discover an ice cave, the two find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

Like the first movie, the film is based on the 11-book young-adult book series by writer Cressida Cowell.

Walt Disney Co.’s “Maleficent” collected $18.5 million in its third weekend to place third. The Angelina Jolie-led feature has generated domestic sales of $163 million, according to Rentrak.

Weekend revenue for the top 10 films fell 8.1 percent to $177.3 million from the year-earlier period, Rentrak said. Domestic box-office sales year to date are $4.71 billion, up 2.7 percent from the year-earlier period.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales for June 13 to June 15.

                     Rev.  Pct.            Avg./     Total
Movie               (mln)  Chg. Theaters   Theater   (mln)   Wks
===============================================================
1 22 Jump Street    $57.1   --    3,306    $17,263   $57.1    1
2 Dragon 2           49.5   --    4,253     11,627    49.5    1
3 Maleficent         18.5  -46    3,623      5,108   163.0    3
4 Edge Of Tomorrow   16.5  -43    3,505      4,715    57.0    2
5 Fault In Our Stars 14.8  -69    3,273      4,519    80.8    2
6 X-Men: Future Past  9.8  -35    3,042      3,227   206.3    4
7 Godzilla            3.3  -46    2,088      1,586   191.5    5
8 Million Ways To Die 3.2  -56    2,413      1,345    37.1    3
9 Neighbors           2.4  -56    1,896      1,250   143.0    6
10 Chef               2.2  -17    1,102      1,985    14.0    6

Top 10 Films Grosses:

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $177.3        $193.0       -8.1

Year-to-date Revenue:

     2014          2013
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $4,709        $4,586       +2.7

Source: Rentrak Corp.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anousha Sakoui in London at asakoui@bloomberg.net; Isaac Arnsdorf in New York at iarnsdorf@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bruce Rule at brule1@bloomberg.net; Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net; Ben Livesey at blivesey@bloomberg.net Ben Livesey

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