Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street
As expected, Phil Lord and Chris Miller's 21 Jump Street topped the North American box office on Friday, March 16, grossing $13.1 million (a respectable $4,197 per theater) according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Written by Inglourious Basterds actor and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World screenwriter Michael Bacall, and featuring Channing Tatum, Moneyball's Best Supporting Actor nominee Jonah Hill, Brie Larson, and Dave Franco, the action comedy is expected to take in approximately $35 million at 3,121 theaters over the weekend.
If word-of-mouth is good and Sony Pictures keeps plugging its (and MGM's) $45 million movie (not including marketing / distribution expenses), then it's certainly possible that 21 Jump Street will pass the $100 million mark before hitting the home video market. Last year, Sony's R-rated comedy Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and Jason Segel, opened with $31.6 million and went on to gross $100.2 million domestically.
Here's another box office comparison, but to a previous small-to-big screen adaptation: though an action-thriller, S.W.A.T. opened with considerably more impressive $37.06 million in 2003 (or about $49 million today). Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jeremy Renner were featured in Clark Johnson's eventual $116 million grosser (made for $80m).
21 Jump Street is the second Channing Tatum movie to open strongly so far this year. Co-starring Rachel McAdams, Michael Sucsy's romantic melodrama The Vow debuted with $41.2 million in early February. Tatum will soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike, opposite Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Matt Bomer, and Matthew McConaughey; and Jon M. Chu's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, co-starring Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis.
The popular late '80s television series 21 Jump Street starred Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen, and Steven Williams. Both Depp and DeLuise make cameos in the 21 Jump Street feature, which has turned the straight cop drama into a farcical comedy. As mentioned in my previous box office post, that's cosmic justice. After all, Depp toplines Tim Burton's comedy-fantasy Dark Shadows, an upcoming feature film based on the late '60s Gothic drama TV series.
Also in the 21 Jump Street cast: Bridesmaids' Ellie Kemper, Rob Riggle and Ice Cube.
Channing Tatum / 21 Jump Street photo: Scott Garfield / Columbia TriStar.
Susan Sarandon, Jeff, Who Lives at Home
At no. 2 on Friday, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax took in a spring-break-assisted $6.7 million (about $400,000 less than the "rough” estimates posted last night) according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The widely panned animated 3D feature should reach around $26-$28 million for the weekend.
Andrew Stanton's $250 million-budgeted sci-fier / actioner John Carter is expected to plummet 55 percent from last weekend, after grossing $4 million (down 59 percent) on Friday and – according to early estimates – $13.6 million by Sunday evening. John Carter's ten-day cume should be an underwhelming $53 million. Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe star.
Rounding out the top six movies at the North American box office on Friday were the widely panned teen flick Project X with $1.53 million, the just as widely panned Eddie Murphy comedy A Thousand Words with $1.15 million, and the equally widely panned flag-waving actioner Act of Valor with $1.12 million.
At only 382 locations, Will Ferrell's Lionsgate-distributed Spanish-language Casa de Mi Padre opened at no. 8, with a respectable – though hardly phenomenal – $760,000, or $1,990 per theater. For an English-language film, that would be a poor showing, but for a film with dialogue in a language other than English (and with mostly poor reviews to boot), then that performance is not bad at all as most audiences can't read subtitles (or anything else, for that matter). Matt Piedmont directed Casa de Mi Padre, which also features Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, and Pedro Armendáriz Jr., who died last December.
The Paramount Vantage release Jeff, Who Lives at Home opened with a highly disappointing $264,000 at 254 locations, averaging only $1,039 per site. The well-received comedy about men who refuse to grow up (is there any other kind in current movie comedies?) was directed by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass, and features Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Rae Dawn Chong, and Linda Greer. Jeff, Who Lives at Home has a 78 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.
Susan Sarandon / Jeff, Who Lives at Home photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / Paramount Pictures.