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‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Tracking to Breathe Box-Office Fire

DreamWorks Animation family sequel looking at $55 million-$70 million; ’22 Jump Street’ at $45 million-$50 million

DreamWorks Animation’s 3D family film “How to Train Your Dragon 2” will open between $55 million and $70 million when it hits theaters on June 13, according to pre-release tracking that came on line Thursday.

That’s a broad range, but the weekend looks like it will be a big one at the box-office in any case. Sony’s “22 Jump Street” is also debuting, and the initial tracking puts the R-rated Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill action comedy at between $45 million and $50 million. The openings are three weeks away and the marketing campaigns are still kicking in, so both films are hoping to build momentum.

Both sequels are follow-ups to hits. “How To Train Your Dragon” brought in $217 million domestically and $495 million globally, after opening to $43 million in March of 2010. And “21 Jump Street” rolled out to $36 million in March of 2012, and went on to take in $138 million domestically and $201 million worldwide.

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DreamWorks Animation is banking on “Dragon 2,” which picks up the story of the young Viking Hiccup and his dragon Toothless, for a rebound. It’s coming on the heels of “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” which forced DWA to take a $57 million writedown in April.

The opening for the Fox-distributed “Dragon” may not hit the high end, with Angelina Jolie and “Maleficent” landing the week before and certain to attract women, and “22 Jump Street” likely to draw older teens. But it will be the only animated film in the market until Disney’s “Planes: Fire and Rescue” lands on July 18, which should give families plenty of time to catch up with it.

Dean DeBlois returns to write and direct, after sharing those duties with Chris Sanders on the original “Dragon.” Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou and Kit Harrington join the voice cast, which includes Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig.

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller, fresh from their success with “The Lego Movie,” return to direct “22 Jump Street,” which finds Schmidt and Jenko undercover in college. Ice Cube joins the cast, which includes Nick Offerman and Peter Stormare. Michael Bacall, Rodney Rotham and Oren Uziel wrote the script.

“22 Jump Street” will open two weeks after Universal’s R-rated Seth MacFarlane comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and one week before another Sony comedy sequel. the PG-13-rated “Think Like a Man Too.”



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