The DreamWorks Animation family film opened with $50 million, but Jenko and Schmidt — the undercover college cops the duo plays in the comedy sequel — stole the show from the young viking Hiccup and his dragon Toothless with one of the best openings ever for an R-rated comedy.
Only 2011’s “The Hangover Part 11,” with $85.9 million, grossed more in its first weekend. The debut for “22 Jump Street” outstripped those of “Sex and the City” ($57 million) and “Ted” ($54.4 million), and blew past the $36.7 million opening that the original “21 Jump Street” opened with in March of 2012.
“Give big kudos to Jonah and Channing,” said Rory Bruer, distribution chief at Sony, which co-produced with MGM. “Their chemistry is something special. They work hard and play hard and love what they’re doing; that shows, and audiences responded in a big way.”
Going into the weekend, analysts had projected debuts in the $55 million range for both films, with “Dragon 2” given a slight edge because it was summer’s first major animated release and it was in 900 more theaters than the comedy.
But “22 Jump Street” got off to a fast start with a massive $25 million on Friday and never looked back. It turned into a date night movie — audiences were evenly split between men and women– and was able to hold off “Dragon 2.” The comedy directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“The LEGO Movie”) even topped “Dragon 2” on Saturday, when the kids film got a boost from the family crowd.
“22 Jump Street” averaged roughly $18,520 in its 3,306 theaters, while “Dragon 2” took in around $11,810 at each of its 4,253 theaters, one of the largest rollouts for an animated film ever. Both movies were very well-reviewed, and audiences agreed: the “Jump Street” sequel received an “A-” CinemaScore from moviegoers, while “Dragon 2” rated an “A.”
The big openings mark just the fourth time ever that two films have topped $50 million in the same weekend — and all have come in June. “Monsters University” and “World War Z” did it last year, “Prometheus” and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” managed the feat in 2012 and “WALL-E” and “Wanted” pulled it off in 2008.
Last week’s No. 1 movie, the Shailene Woodley-Ansel Elgort young-adult tearjerker “The Fault In Our Stars,” dropped to fifth place with $15.7 million. “Maleficent” ($19 million) and Tom Cruise‘s “Edge of Tomorrow” ($16.1 million) held well and were third and fourth.
Ice Cube, Peter Stormare, Nick Offerman, Jillian Bell and Amber Stevens co-star in “22 Jump Street,” which is a $50 million co-production of Columbia Pictures and Metro Goldwyn-Mayer. Neal Moritz produced, along with Hill and Channing.
The first “Dragon” movie opened to $43.7 million four years ago and played strongly for weeks, on its way to $217 million domestically and $495 million worldwide. DreamWorks and distributor Fox are hoping the sequel will show similar staying power over the next few weeks when it has the family market largely to itself.
“The critics and the audiences aligned and this is a great start for us,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief at Fox, which had three of the top six movies. “There’s not another animated film in sight, so we expect to do great business going forward.”
The audience for the Dean DeBlois-directed “Dragon 2” was 53 percent female and 56 percent under the age of 25.
Most of the voice cast from the original returned, including Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Kirsten Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and T.J. Miller (so did Jonah Hill, as Snotlout). Kit Harington, Cate Blanchett and Djimon Hounsou joined the ensemble.
Bonnie Arnold is the producer of “Dragon 2,” which was made for a reported $145 million. It marks a rebound for DreamWorks Animation, after recent misfires “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and last year’s “Turbo,” both of which resulted in writedowns for the studio.
“Maleficent,” Disney’s live-action update of its 1959 animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” fell off just 42 percent from its second weekend and is now up to nearly $165 million domestically and has topped $436 million globally in three weeks.
“Edge of Tomorrow,” from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, dropped 45 percent from its first weekend, and has now taken in $57 million domestically. That’s low for the $178 million sci-fi epic, but it has done much better overseas, where it has brought in more than $181 million.
Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” finished sixth with $9.4 million. The Marvel mutant mashup raised its domestic total to nearly $206 million and passed “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” as summer’s highest-grossing movie so far. Sony’s Marvel superhero sequel is at $198 million domestically, and just crossed $700 million worldwide.
“Godzilla” ($3.1 million), “A Million Ways to Die in the West” ($3 million), “Neighbors” ($2.4 million) and “Chef” ($2.1 million) rounded out the top ten.