Weekend Box Office: ’22 Jump Street’ Has The Second Biggest R-Rated Comedy Opening Ever

As expected on Friday, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 22 Jump Street (review) had the second highest R-rated comedy opening ever (behind Hangover II) this weekend, grossing an estimated $60 million domestically. It even beat out How To Train Your Dragon 2‘s $50 million opening, despite Dragon being a well-reviewed, family-friendly sequel to a hit property opening on almost a thousand more theaters. I believe Lord and Miller now reserve the right of prima nocta with any Sony executive’s daughter.

22 Jump Street’s short list of (modified) superlatives:

  • Second highest R-Rated comedy ever
  • Fifth biggest comedy opening ever
  • Lord and Miller first directors to have two $60 million weekends in the same year (along with The LEGO movie)
  • $80 million worldwide

It also received an A- Cinemascore (compared to B for the… er… “original”), suggesting it will continue to do decent business, not that it really matters when the budget was only $50 million. I hope someone at Sony bought Channing Tatum a diamond-encrusted X-Box. “Eh girl, you wanna like, play some Madden or whateva?”

Meanwhile, How To Train Your Dragon 2 opened smaller than Kung Fu Panda, the Madagascar sequels, and Monsters Versus Aliens, a little surprising for a beloved sequel tracking 92% on RottenTomatoes. Adjusted for inflation, it ran a virtual tie with the original. Maybe children are starting to find Jay Baruchel’s weird ribbit frog voice as off-putting as I do? He doesn’t talk like that in real life, does he? You know how some people make weird faces when they look at themselves in the mirror? I think Jay Baruchel and Zach Braff (have you ever heard his toilet paper commercials?) do the same thing with their voice whenever they have to do voice work, like this weird caricature of themselves. Dude, just talk, it’ll sound plenty cartoonish when it’s coming out of a cartoon.

Elsewhere, the big story is that if you want to pick up chicks at a YA tween weepie, you better go opening weekend, because the second and third weekends are just going to be perverts, cat ladies, and tumbleweeds. The Fault In Our Stars (spoiler alert, it’s cancer) fell off 67% in its second weekend, approaching Twilight/Harry Potter/horror movie status when it comes to being “front loaded”. Still, it was still 10% behind Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (77.4% second weekend drop in 2009), and it only cost $12 million to make anyway. Shailene Woodley isn’t going anywhere. And don’t be surprised if we get The Fault In Our Stars 2: Back From Remission.

Speaking of sequels, 22 Jump Street’s opening has people speaking of sequels. This despite the entire movie being dedicated to making fun of the very idea of one.

“End credits jokes aside, can Sony really afford to not make 23 Jump Street?” -Forbes

“Sony is going to want a ’23 Jump Street,’ but the better bet is giving directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller carte blanche to make whatever they want next.” -Screencrush

Here’s what producer Neil Moritz said going into the weekend:

As far as a potential “23 Jump Street” goes, Moritz said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach. “The way I look at it is, after this weekend’s over, if that’s what the audience wants then I’d sure love to do it, but I don’t want to jinx it. We’re proud of what we’ve done here. I’m sure we’ll discuss it next week.”

Ugh, how about we don’t and say we did? Both of the first two were better than they had any right to be, and the second did so specifically by making fun of the idea that it even exists at all. You already robbed the bank and got away with it, no need to return to the scene of the crime. I’m as high on Lord and Miller as anyone, but at a certain point we’ve got to stop commissioning Picasso to paint Fartzilla.