Box Office Summer Sequelitis: #1 ‘22 Jump St’ $60M, #2 ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ $50M

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5TH UPDATE, SUNDAY AM:  If you’re sick of summer sequels, then this weekend stunk for you. But the public isn’t, so this was another great weekend in terms of grosses for the top pair of newcomers.  #1 is  22 Jump Street (Sony/Columbia Pictures/MGM – 3,306 theaters) opening with a hot $25M (including $5.5M from Thursday late shows) Friday. West Coast late shows did push that total higher. But Saturday cooled down -26%. The Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill laugher has a real shot at $60M, or at least $10M to $15M more than expected. Not bad for a cost the studios claim is only $50M. That would make this the 2nd biggest R-rated comedy ever, behind only Hangover 2 (which sucked, as you know). This film tested higher than any R-rated comedy in Sony Pictures’ history – although testing is notoriously wrong. But not only did critics approve of this pic by giving it 83% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but so did audiences who gave it an A- Cinemascore to keep the word-of-mouth strong. (21 Jump Street received only a B.) Exit polling showed the movie playing to 50% male and 50% female, with  56% of the audience under age 25, and 44% aged 25 and over. Keeping the interest high were returning directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs).

This weekend, the film bowed in 15 markets are made $6.9M for an international cume of $20.6M. Last weekend the film took in $12M from the UK for one of the top comedy openings of all time.

The marketing challenge was to rope in a broad dual moviegoing audience so Sony capitalized early with set visits in November and the first trailers in December. Key television premieres, finales & awards shows were secured along with the NHL Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA playoffs where a blown-out custom promotion featured Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill & Ice Cube interviewing legendary NBA duos about working as partners.  There also were custom promotions on MTV, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central, where a partnership with @Midnight saw the entire show devoted to the film. The Social Media campaign was pushed hard: Rentrak’s social score (social conversation, most notably Twitter) rated at 100 index. A multi-pronged viral video campaign tapped into the YouTube generation.  One of the standouts among the digital initiatives was the creation of the fictitious Metro City State College. In addition to New York, London, and Dublin  publicity junkets and LA premiere, Jonah and Channing served as Grand Marshals at NASCAR’s Pocono 400.  The pair did appearance on Entertainment Weekly, GQ, GMA, Kelly and Michael, Tonight, BET, Kimmel, Conan, and Chelsea.

#2 is PG-rated and 3D How To Train Your Dragon 2 howtotrainyourdragon2(DreamWorks Animation/Fox- 4,253 theaters) targeting $18.5M Friday but -9% on Saturday. With a 3x multiple (on the high end for summer) that’s a tepid $50M. The cost was a whopping $145M to make. After an uneven string of misses and miserable grosses recently culminating in the bomb that was Mr Peabody And Sherman, this sequel should have been Jeffrey Katzenberg’s biggest toon opening since 2012′s Madagascar 3. (The first Dragon opened to $43.7M and was considered one of DWA’s quality films.) But DreamWorks Animation is still nowhere near its Shrek highs. Audiences gave the sequel an A Cinemascore which will help word-of-mouth. Produced by Bonnie Arnold and written/directed by Dean DeBlois, based upon the “How To Train Your Dragon” book series by Cressida Cowell, the toon casts Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, and Djimon Hounsou among others, This second chapter of the trilogy returns to the fantasty world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless against the power-hungry Drago. Parents beware, however: there’s a death scene in the film that’s been compared to the punch-in-the-gut of Bambi’s. Lacking serious animated competition, this title (which has a high 92% on Rotten Tomatoes) could play for awhile.

Internationally, DWA/Fox began its box office quest on 4,438 screens in 25 markets including Russia this weekend, earning $24.8M and taking the #1 market share position in every opening market. The International cume-to-date is $26.5M. All of Latin America releases next weekend along with Australia, most of Eastern Europe and South Africa.  Western Europe starts to roll-out the weekend the first weekend in July. Middle Eastern markets opened last weekend.

For overall moviegoing, this weekend is pushing $190M with 57% of the grosses in the Top 2. That’s about even with last year’s big FSS:

3. Maleficent (Disney – 3,623 Runs) Week 3 PG
Friday $6.1M, Saturday $7.4M, Weekend $19.6M (-43%), Cume $164.1M
4. The Fault In Our Stars (Fox – 3,273 Runs) Week 2 PG13
Friday $6.5M, Saturday $5.5M, Weekend $16M (-67%), Cume $82.0M
5. Edge Of Tomorrow (Warner Bros – 3,505 Runs) Week 2 PG13
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $5.9M, Weekend $15.0M (-48%), Cume $55.5M

  73 comments on “Box Office Summer Sequelitis: #1 ‘22 Jump St’ $60M, #2 ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ $50M

  1. Just in from seeing HTTYD2 and can say that it is an amazing film with incredible 3D animation, a heartfelt story, tears and laughter. I hope word of mouth builds an audience quickly.

  2. Thank God I found this site. I hadn’t realized it had launched. The insane ramblings of that woman doing the box office reports on the "other" site have become impossible to read.

  3. Somehow, some way, I feel a little ray of hope that America has finally figured out the phoniness behind Tom Cruise’s career. How else can you explain the lousy US numbers for Edge of Tomorrow (which sounds like the title of a soap opera, btw)?

  4. Nikki, while serving in the Air force as an enlisted soldier, my superiors gave me a list of people, places and things which were — suppositly — big no nos. Well, of course those questionable places sparked an intriguing curiosity in me, so, quite naturally I found myself tasting a few of the " forbidden fruits". What’s my point? Well, while reading IndieWire’s Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood) she mentioned your name. Actually, in her article "Nikki Finke Is Back" she sort of dumped on you. Well, take a peek–> "Now she [Nikki] is back being the indie that she wants to be. Will people read her? Some. Will studios advertise with her? Somehow I doubt this will be another cash cow. She won’t be posting with significant volume. She can spout and exhort and excoriate to her heart’s content. We shall see if the town is willing to get back into that abusive relationship" ~ Anne Thompson So Nikki, am thinking "hmmmmm, why so much venom (some call it hater-aid) being splashed on a fellow writer/critic?" Anyway, after reading Anne’s post I was reminded of the off-limit places and people of my military days which brought tons of wonderful memories. And, today, after reading this post, I believe I know why you may intimidate Ms. Thompson. Well, it appears you have the courage to go against popular opinions… and I love that in you. I will be back!

  5. That’s too bad about Dragon, the first one was fantastic, a step up for DW in terms of storytelling. Maybe others felt like I do, and plan to see it over the summer but did not feel it necessary to rush out opening weekend? Longevity might be key. I also remember big headlines not too long ago about how they were "outing" one of the characters from the original movie in the sequel; is it possible that affected totals? Even pro gay parents were commenting that they found the change kind of annoying. Add to that a big death scene, and I could see parents keeping their youngest kids away from this one. Too much realism in what should be kiddie escapism? Maybe. Anyway, you’ve been terribly missed Nikki and it’s wonderful to have you back! Looking forward to a straight shooting, non-sugarcoated BO every week, it was sorely missed.

  6. $50 million opening for How to Tame Your Dragon 2 is an okay opening. However, the first movie was great and I would have thought families would flock to the sequel, especially with good reviews. Wot happened? Edge of Tomorrow is one of the best of the summer films. I attribute its less-than-stellar domestic bo to marketing and maybe even Tom himself.

    1. Edge of Tomorrow is indeed one of the best movies this summer. I chalk the failure up to bad distribution strategy, not really the marketing. Edge should have been held for a better release window during the holiday season or in the spring. Putting it out in superhero season was a bad idea.

    2. Now only if Edge of Tomorrow didn’t dumb down the ending in an almost unforgivable manner. Left me scratching my head, considering what a far cry it was from the graphic novel. I guess a movie with a less than happy ending is just too far above audiences these days. World War Z spent 60mil on reshoots for a happier ending and was justly skewered by critics for this. Surprised Edge didn’t get the same lancing. It will still probably be the best movie this summer that I will see in terms of a "blockbuster. "

  7. Thanks to the makers of 22 jump street for promoting gun ownership in their advertising. I’m sure all involved with this wonderful law and order epic are big 2nd amendment supporters, like everyone in Hollywood. Also, thanks to the Drudge Report for linking to this insightful and thought provoking site. Happy Fathers Day!

  8. Please can you stop justifying the text? It’s not spectularly readable on a computer, but on phones it just becomes an endless succession of hyphenated lines. There is a good reason that major sites don’t use justification — it’s not up to snuff on the web yet.

  9. I could literally count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone to DH since NF’s departure. She WAS the site. Subtract her from the equation and it’s unworthy of our clicks. As far as web ownership goes, she has to be as big as anyone at inspiring loyalty among the readership.

  10. Maleficent is turning out to be a little Beastie.. love it. Especially after reading comments on BO whinnying because HTTYD didn’t pull in 100 million opening weekend. I don’t know where all they hype for that film came from. Having the opportunity to hear what children were wanting to see; HTTYD was not what they were talking about. Mind you these are 6 and 7 year old. I’m glad that despite the RT score Maleficent is surly going to hit 200 million.. Go Angie.. I think the fanboys get pissed over anything beating their beloved films.

  11. I wondered if they didn’t make two "Look and feel" mistakes with HTTYD2. The first was putting a number in the title. The second is selling the picture as a kiddie movie. HTTYD2 is a good picture. But I do sort of wonder if another "number title" plays well with a sequel and a"reboot" weary public. But it’s not a kids picture. Nor should it be (or have been.) But the way it was sold instantly makes it one, partly because of the STUPID way Hollywood is still "thinking" "Animation=kiddie fare" more than 30 years after Anime hit the US, and changed nearly everyone’s definition of "cartoon" forever. (Except of course in some of these "studio heads" who have not had an original thought since Uncle Dalt Wizzney passed from the scene. ) HTTYD will do better over time. Let some of the other junk out there spiral down to the slow flaming death it deserves. If they are smart enough to leave HTTYD in theaters for a while longer, and then do the DVD thing that goes with ll these "kiddie" pictures, then they won’t have to worry (Too much that is.)

    1. Oh, come on dude. HTYD2 is NOT anime. It’s not succinct storytelling. And it’s not compelling. The first was a kiddie move and the 2nd is a less popular kiddie movie. Do you really think that you can convince people that this is a real movie? It is what it is and it’s actually no real surprise that it bombed (compared to expectations).

      1. No, of course it’s not anime. My point (which you completely missed) is that the definition of" Animation=Kiddie fare" has changed in the minds of just about anyone who can think, or cares about what the definition has become. HTTYD2 is not a kids movie. It is it’s own story, and can be watched and understood by anyone who didn’t see the first installment. But putting a number in the title always carries a certain amount of baggage, doesn’t it? As to its being less popular. wait. It has wings (better than "legs" yes?) and will be an admirable success.

  12. So Jonah Hill has the #1 and #2 movie in America…2 Oscar nominations…and he’s worked with some of the modern greats (Scorsese, Tarantino, etc.)…but when is he going to actually take the lead in a major Hollywood film? He needs a chance, with a big director, to show what he’s capable of…Peter Weir or Spike Jonze or Charlie Kauffman could take this kid to another level…

    1. Jonah has True Story coming out later this year. It is a drama with James Franco. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is Producing. I think this role will give him a chance to show his grit so to speak.

  13. I’m soooo happy to see you back doing the box office reports. It was challenging following your box office reporting on Twitter and Deadline’s reporting is flatlined.

  14. Is a $54m opening that good for Dragon 2? Doesn’t seem like it to me. It certainly isn’t a failure, but considering it is a summer tent pole animated film and the sequel in an established franchise, this has to be disappointing to Katzenberg.

    1. A lot of the forecasts had it pegged as the movie to beat this summer in terms of revenue. I guess because it was coming off the heels of Despicable and Frozen. In retrospect, that dot connecting smacks of laziness. Michael Bay, the summer movie crown is yours to regain.

  15. While its great that you’re back to doing BO reports, I hope that you can place in context of profitability more than the usual sources that regurgitate the weekends as a pure marketing tool. Coming in first means nothing if the movie is going to lose a ton of money. It would be great to see analysis that incorporates P&A spend, theatrical rentals, and distribution fees into the overall picture. The studios like to keep those things under wraps but that’s why we have you. Welcome back!

    1. Yes, incorporating budgets AND PA would be awesome insight. Perhaps hard to get on some projects, but I think you can do it Nikki. You sly ninja.

  16. Can’t help but How To Train Your Dragon 2′s opening weekend is quite dissapointing – saw so many 70+ OW and 300+ DOM predictions in last few months… Meh.

  17. Nikki, welcome back. As one who used to read you and didn’t like you at first , I sincerely wish you great success! You don’t miss the water till the well runs dry. I took you for granted. However, during your absence, I releazied how important you were to the entertainment industry. You made your stories and scoops fun! You have a wicked sense of humor and it perked up even the driest of stories. I applaud the return of detailed boxoffice reports. Your updates used to keep me checking my phone all night. Welcome back and don’t ever leave us again!

  18. What I hate most about Deadline is that they change their previous updates when every new update comes in. At least here, the text mostly stays the same and changes are made where necessary without ending up with huge articles.

  19. First article for the wknd b-o at nikkifinke.com. This is very exciting. I would never believe that 22 Jump Street had a chance of out-grossing HtTYD2 until a week ago. This is unbelievable. However, DWA films tend to increase on Saturday. Kunf Fu Panda and Mad 3 both increased about 10% from Fri-to-Sat. With a 10% drop on Sunday due to Father’s Day, I think HtTYD2 can reach $56M. Even so, and with a drop for 22 JS on Saturday, I think the latter has the weekend crown.

  20. Welcome back Nikki! I must say I prefer your layout and reporting style much more than those found in the box office reports over at DH. Keep up the great work!

    1. so you’re under the impression all other sites that report the EXACT same thing are lying? — you do realize that she’s getting these #’s and box office results info from a source (ie. the studio who made the movie) same as every other site – and more importantly until the weekend is over – no box office result is official (it’s all just an estimation) – and even when the weekend is over and any results are considered "official" – WHAT DIFFERENCE does it make to your life in any way that you need to trust or distrust box office results? are you a shareholder in those companies ?

        1. what do you mean "good lord"? just answer the question – unless you’re a shareholder in a company (ie. the studios who release the movies) – seriously what difference does it make to any reader what the results are? sure you can be curious, but same as any sports game – it really doesn’t matter to anyone in any tangible way does it??

  21. Dragon will most likely like all animated films have a huge family bump on Saturday that’ll push it to number one! I remember this exact same thing when world war Z and monsters University went up against each other last year this exact same weekend and monsters University opened with 84 million.

  22. You are timeless and are welcomed back with open arms. Yes, been watching trades over several years and everything is vanilla! Especially Deadline Hollywood. …the stats, so laborious. I need to use a hydrolic crane-lift to keep my eyelids open. YOU invented great/timely box office stats. Specific/timely/focused. Literally before any blog or huge digital billion dollar company ever covered… or each evolution of momentum, per opening weekend. Many copy cats. Thank God you are back!!! Kudos to your return, and keep going, you are an inspiration on fighting the good fight!!

  23. Nikki Finke is back on the scene, and Nikke Finke is the master! The Shogun of Hollywood. A homage to the classic "The Last Dragon" (1985).

  24. Hey Nikki, so glad you are back….having spent 40+ years in the film biz – theatrical, distribution and some production – I missed your insight, knowledge and no bullshit entertaining reporting. I hope you have your health back and look forward to your live snarking the awards shows! Cheers!

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