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Tuesday, September 2, 2014



Weekend Predictions: Can Dragon Get the Jump on the Competition?

How to Train Your Dragon 2 poster

This weekend, there are two potential monster hits coming out. How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street both look to improve upon the box office numbers their respective predecessors managed. Thanks to the sequel effect, they should both start fast. Additionally, both should have better legs than most sequels, thanks to their incredible reviews. The rest of the top five should all earn more than $10 million helping the overall box office. This weekend last year there were only three films to earn more than $10 million. One of them was Man of Steel, which earned more than $116 million by itself. No film this weekend will match that total, but the depth this year is much better. It should be strong enough for 2014 to win in the year-over-year comparison.

Most people think that How to Train Your Dragon 2 will come out ahead of 22 Jump Street on the weekend box office, but not everyone agrees. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a family film, which usually means a lower opening and better legs and this might give 22 Jump Street the advantage this weekend, but I'm not convinced. There hasn't been a big family film since Rio 2, or arguably The LEGO Movie. The LEGO Movie earned nearly $70 million during its opening weekend and How to Train Your Dragon 2 should top that figure. Its reviews, while lower than the original, are still 93% positive. On the high end, the film could pull in $80 million. On the low end, it will make barely more than $60 million. I'm a little more bullish than most, so keep that in mind, but I think it will earn $72 million over the next three days.

21 Jump Street was a risky movie to make. Not a lot of people remember 21 Jump Street the TV show, so being a faithful adaptation wouldn't make sense, because there are not enough fans to be a fan base for a wide release. Even making a mocking adaptation wouldn't work, because not enough people would remember the show enough to get the references. However, 21 Jump Street earned 85% positive reviews and was a strong box office hit. 22 Jump Street hopes to improve on its predecessor's run. It should certainly open a lot faster, while its reviews are actually one percentage point better than the first film's reviews. On the high end, 22 Jump Street could earn $65 million, which puts it in contention for first place. On the low end, it will make a little more than $50 million. I'm going with $60 million.

The Fault in Our Stars will likely see its box office number tumble this weekend. Granted, it is a drama, which is a genre that doesn't normally have Fanboy Effect drop-offs, while its reviews are excellent. On the other hand, John Green helped boost the Fanboy Effect for this film so much so that I think a drop-off greater that 60% will be likely this weekend. That will still leave the film with $18 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $85 million. It will have no trouble getting to $100 million, which is amazing for a film that cost just $12 million to make.

Maleficent should be close behind with just under $18 million over the weekend for a total of just over $160 million after three weeks of release. It's on pace to reach $200 million, if the studio gives it a little push in the end.

Edge of Tomorrow should round out the top five with $14 million. Even with amazing reviews, there are two big movies opening this weekend, so it will likely get lost in the crowd. At this pace, it might get halfway to matching its production budget, which is disappointing. It is doing better internationally, but not by enough to make a real difference at this point.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-06-13

Movies 
 How to Train Your Dragon 2
 22 Jump Street
 The Fault in Our Stars
 Maleficent
 Edge of Tomorrow