Box office: ’21 Jump Street’ easily takes Friday with $13.1 million

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum took on “The Lorax” Friday night at the multiplexes, with “21 Jump Street” coming out on top. The comedic remake of the ’80s TV drama laughed its way to the bank with a strong $13.1 million opening day.

The critically acclaimed “Jump” will likely earn around $35 million for the weekend, enough to knock “The Lorax” from the top spot. The animated Dr. Suess adaptation scored another $6.7 million, bringing its domestic total to $142.3 million. It should pick up around $24 million for the weekend, which would push “The Lorax’s” total to over $160 million — making it 2012’s biggest hit so far, and by far.

Disney’s epic “John Carter” wasn’t granted a second week miracle. Indeed, the pricey sci-fi film dropped 60% week-to-week, only scraping up $4 million for third place. Its domestic total now stands at $43.6 million, and with “The Hunger Games” opening this coming week, “Carter’s” fortunes aren’t bound to improve. 

Rounding out the top five, the low-budget comedy “Project X” added another $1.5 million to its impressive gross of $45.6 million, while Eddie Murphy’s “A Thousand Words” continues to bomb, earning just $1.1 million. The comedy has so far earned a tepid $9.4 million at the U.S. box office. 

Two limited comedies featuring big name talent made strong debuts this Friday as well. Will Ferrell’s Spanish language “Casa de Mi Padre” lassoed $760,000 from just 382 screens, while the Duplass Brothers’ “Jeff Who Lives at Home” — starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms — scored a solid $264,000 from just 254 screens. 

Look for updated weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.