Another big upset for an R-rated comedy for summer 2014.
The first big box-office story this summer was when would-be juggernaut The Amazing Spider-Man 2 got curb-stomped in only its second weekend by R-rated comedy Neighbors. Now it looks like a similar upset is in the offing for this weekend, with 22 Jump Street predicted to edge out the family blockbuster How to Train Your Dragon 2 for first place – though this time both films are performing above expectations.
If numbers hold, Jump Street could climb as high as $62 million for the weekend – almost double the opening gross of the original. While Dragon is also outperforming its predecessor, it was widely expected to own the top spot given the higher prices for 3D screenings and broader demographic of children, teens and families. Barring a significant mid-weekend shift, Jump Street’s victory is another feather in the cap for writer/director team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, still riding the equally-unexpected success of The Lego Movie earlier this year.
If Jump Street continues to have legs, it sets up a potentially interesting dynamic for the immediate future. The major studios effectively scheduled a “break” for next weekend owing to the release of Think Like a Man Too – the original was a surprise #1 hit in 2012 and predominantly Black-cast romantic comedies have had an infrequent tendency to surge unexpectedly in recent years – and an expected strong holdover for Dragon. A second big-ticket comedy in the mix further complicates that calculation.