Box Office Top 10 Film Film News

Box Office: Attack of the Sequels-22 Jump Street Does Big Business for an R-Rated Comedy & How To Train Your Dragon 2 Eases DreamWork’s Recent Woes

To see our other box office top 10 breakdowns please go here.

Here are the bullet points for this weekend’s top 10: 22 Jump Street scored the second biggest debut for an R-rated comedy since 1982, How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s respectable opening weekend might have stopped the bleeding at DreamWorks Animation, Edge of Tomorrow had the best second-weekend hold of any 2014 summer blockbuster but it might not be good enough, The Fault in Our Stars had one of the biggest second-weekend drops of any film of the summer, and X-Men: Days of Future Past became only the second film this summer to cross $200 million domestic.

Top 10 Actual Domestic Totals (6/13-6/15)
1. 22 Jump Street (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$57 million
  • Budget=$50 million

Foreign: Released in the U.K. last weekend, 22 Jump Street is now playing in 14 overseas markets, and has amassed $20.6 million in foreign gross for a worldwide total of $77.6 million.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are clearly on a roll, writing and directing the surprise hit Lego Movie earlier this year, and now doing the same for 22 Jump Street, which just debuted 64% ahead of the first Jump Street‘s $36.3 million opening in 2012.  In fact, 22 Jump Street pulled down the second best opening for an R-rated comedy since 1982, though Hangover 2‘s $85.9 million debut still sits safely atop that particular list.  Combine that with last month’s $49 million opening for Neighbors and 2014 has turned into a surprisingly strong year for R-rated comedies…well not so much for Million Ways to Die in the West.

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$49.4 million
  • Budget=$145 million

Foreign:  Opening in 25 mostly smaller markets, Dragon 2 grossed $24.8 million, coming in No. 1 everywhere (including Russia), making for a worldwide debut of $74.2 million.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – a DreamWorks Animation film that cost dang near $150 million to produce disappoints at the domestic box office, causing general pants-shitting at DreamWorks as their stock dips on Wall Street.  It has happened to them with their last 4 movies – Rise of the Guardians (2012), The Croods (2013), Turbo (2013), and Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014), and only Croods made up for it overseas.  As of last update, they took a loss of at least $57 million on Mr. Peabody. Sadly, this trend served as a condemnation of DreamWorks Animation’s efforts to favor original properties (Croods, Turbo) and adaptations of obscure source material (Guardians, Mr. Peabody) over sequels.  Now, in comes a sequel to turn the tide, How to Train Your Dragon 2 scoring a slightly bigger opening than the $43 million for the first film 4 years ago.  This was a studio in desperate need of a win; Train Your Dragon 2 gave them one.  The first Train Your Dragon topped out at $165 million domestic, $494 million worldwide.  It remains to be seen if Train Your Dragon 2 will beat those marks.

3. Maleficent

BG_Maleficent news

  • Weekend Gross=$18.5 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$163 million
  • Budget=$175 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $272.9 million for a worldwide total of $435.9 million.

Maleficent is still pacing behind prior revisionist fairy tale films Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful, whose 17-day totals stood at $265 and $177 million (vs. Maleficient’s $164 million) respectively.  However, both of those also cost at least $200 million to make.

4. The Edge of Tomorrow


  • Weekend Gross=$16.5 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$57 million
  • Budget=$178 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $181 million for a worldwide total of $238 million.

Warner Bros. did something very peculiar last Monday: they “sent out an email asking a few members of the media to use social media and help get the word out about Edge of Tomorrow.Studios simply do not do that kind of thing for a big budget movie which has already opened to less than stellar business.  No, as long as the financial losses are manageable they’ll simply sweep it under the rug, and move on to the next tentpole release on the schedule, possibly recouping costs down the road overseas and on home video.  Edge of Tomorrow is different because WB is willing to admit they made a truly fantastic film which they failed to market properly.  If you go by RottenTomatoes Edge of Tomorrow is actually the second best reviewed blockbuster of the summer, although it’s Fresh rating is only 1 percentage point higher than Winter Soldier and lower than Days of Future Past.  Everyone who’s seen it seems to love it, with a 92% audience approval rating from RottenTomatoes readers.  The problem is simply that not nearly enough people are turning out to actually see it.

You can see where the positively euphoric word-of-mouth is starting to spread: Edge of Tomorrow only dropped 43% this weekend, quite easily the strongest hold of any big budget film this summer, all of which have posted second weekend drops of at least 50%.  The problem is that by costing $178 million to make and opening with less than $30 million last weekend no amount of positive buzz, apart from a Frozen-style refusal to ever leave the box office top 10, is likely to save Edge of Tomorrow at the domestic box office.  Thankfully, foreign audiences have been far less immune to Edge of Tomorrow‘s charms, almost completely matching in a mere 10 days the total international gross Tom Cruise’s Oblivion pulled down from its entire run last year.

5. The Fault in Our Stars


  • Weekend Gross=$14.7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$80.7 million
  • Budget=$12 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $38.8 million for a worldwide total of $119.5 million.

When is it okay for your film to plunge 69% in its second weekend?  When your film more than doubled its production budget in its first day alone.  After all, it’s not like The Fault in Our Stars is meant to be the start of a new franchise or anything (it’s about two kids who are dying!).  This was a project for which there was a remarkably ardent, almost entirely young, female audience, most of whom rushed out to see it opening day.  It plummeted nearly 52% from its first Friday to Saturday, the 7th such worst drop for any film since 1982.  So, the experts were expecting it to continue its quick descent this weekend, which is exactly what happened.  The result is that, no, Fault in Our Stars is not going to make as much as Shailene Woodley’s Divergent ($149 million) nor will it even top the biggest box office hit among recent romantic dramas, The Vow ($125 million).  However, it will likely be one of the most profitable films of the summer.

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past


  • Weekend Gross=$9.8 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$206.2 million
  • Budget=$210-240 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $455.8 million for a worldwide total of $662 million.

Finally, one of 2014’s big summer blockbusters (at least the ones not named Captain America: The Winter Solder) crossed the $200 million threshold, Days of Future Past doing so easily while both The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($198 million) and Godzilla ($191 million) remain shy of the mark.  The $200 million benchmark may seem like just an arbitrary figure, but in some cases it actually helps set the rates the studio will later charge in TV rights.  Plus, these benchmarks are real bragging point for studio executives, thus Paramount re-releasing Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z  as a double-bill last August to get WWZ over the $200 million bump or Sony doing something similar with This is the End to get it over $100 million.

7. Godzilla


  • Weekend Gross=$3.3 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$191.5 million
  • Budget=$160 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $248.3 million for a worldwide total of $439.8 million.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, keen not to repeat the mistakes of Pacific Rim, used evocative marketing to sell us a disaster film starring Bryan Cranston when in fact Godzilla is a monster movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, aka, the blandest man from blandonia.  It worked, with Godzilla scoring what remains the second biggest debut of the summer, just barely behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s $95 million.  However, while WB’s marketing department performed a masterful job at getting butts into seats for those first 3 days they’ve struggled with getting more people to show up or early adopters to come back for repeat viewing.  As a result, Godzilla will end up having made just less than half of its total domestic gross from its opening weekend.  That’s good enough to be a success, but concerning enough that you can see why Legendary is talking about the sequel as if it won’t be around until maybe 3 years from now.

On the other hand, Godzilla just opened in China, where it racked up the biggest single day gross for any film on the year in the country, setting it up to add quite a bit more to its international gross going forward.

8. A Million Ways to Die in the West


  •  Weekend Gross=$3.2 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$39.1 million
  • Budget=$40 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $20 million for a worldwide total of $59.1 million.

Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy thrives on tasteless, defiantly non-PC humor, about which MacFarlane has been reluctant to offer anything remotely resembling an apology.  Instead, he seems to wear a perpetual grin across his face, showcasing his pearly white teeth, like an oddly “top of the world” cocky Bruce Willis right before Hudson Hawk came along to humble him.  Of course, in retrospect, that didn’t really seem to humble Willis in the long run, and the ho-hum box office for A Million Ways to Die in the West probably won’t have much of an effect on MacFarlane, at least beyond providing a notable setback to his prospects as a live action film actor.  One thing is all but guaranteed: this is going to result in some really funny, self-referential jokes at Million Ways‘ expense in the upcoming season of Family Guy.

9. Neighbors 


  • Weekend Gross=$2.3 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$143 million
  • Budget=$18 million

Foreign: Currently, it has an international gross of $85.6 million for a worldwide total of $228.6 million.

Neighbors‘ tenure of having the fifth highest opening for an R-rated comedy since 1982 sure didn’t last very long thanks to 22 Jump Street‘s performance causing everyone on that particular list other than Hangover 2 to move back one position.  However, what Neighbors has done is arguably more impressive.  For starters, it’s an original property, not a sequel to anything nor adapted from any kind of source material.  It was released just one week after The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was expected to be a big hit, whereas 22 Jump Street comes after Edge of Tomorrow, which everyone knew was going to flop.  Plus, if we boil it down to the bottom line Neighbors only cost $18 million to make whereas 22 Jump Street cost at least $50 million to make.  That means it’s possible 22 Jump Street will end up with higher domestic and worldwide totals while returning a lower actual profit than Neighbors.  That is unless 22 Jump Street also becomes a huge international hit, something which has evaded Neighbors to this point.

10. Chef


  • Weekend Gross=$2.1 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$13.9 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Foreign: No official foreign box office information yet.

John Favreau’s independently produced Chef has now outlasted both a Adam Sandler/Drew Berrymore romantic comedy (Blended) and a Disney family film starring John Hamm (Million Dollar Arm).  Score one for the little guy, even if this little guy features cameos from the likes of Robert Downey, Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.

What Fell Out of the Top 10?:

Blended (#8 to #11) and A Million Dollar Arm (#10 to #13). Blended has now at least earned back its $40 million budget with an identical domestic gross.

What’s Up Next?: Clint Eastwood, of all people, gives us the surprisingly good adaptation of the jukebox musical Jersey Boys, though it is expected to land with a bit of a thud at the box office.  Elsewhere, Kevin Hart’s conquest of the African American audience continues with Think Like a Man Too.  Both open wide on Friday (6/20).



  1. I will echo other audiences: Edge of Tomorrow was really fun. It was leaps and bounds better than Oblivion. It’s solid time travel, with good acting (which I say reluctantly for Tom Cruise, and emphatically for Emily Blunt), and great visuals that I have figured out are evocative of the Matrix Trilogy because there are some of the same guys in the art department. If you haven’t seen it, check it out, and help them not lose quite so much money…

    1. I checked out your LitFlix article about Edge of Tomorrow, and it was an interesting read. In general, I have heard nothing but good things about Edge of Tomorrow. The only negative thing, really, has been the financial side of things, but everything on the artistic side is as positive as anything released this summer. I plan on seeing the movie at some point this week, most likely within the next few days.

      1. Plug away. I honestly should have put that link in there myself when I referenced the article.

        Anyway, I have noticed an adorably geeky debate brewing: which is the better title – Edge of Tomorrow or All You Need is Kill? However, I think that’s only happening because people are wondering if maybe the title is partially to blame for the box office failure. For mere marketing purposes, the best title probably would have been “Sci-Fi Groundhog Day” because people would have instantly understood the premise. However, they couldn’t have gone with that for several obvious reasons 🙂

      2. You know – it’s almost like they needed someone in the film to actually say, “What do you mean – I am living out my own personal Groundhog Day?” (probably leading to an exchange where the other person doesn’t get the film reference) just so they could sneak that into the trailer to hopefully explain everything.

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