Box Office Preview: '21 Jump Street' Hopes to Steal Crown From 'Lorax'

6:03 PM PST 03/15/2012 by Pamela McClintock

Sony and MGM's comedic film adaptation of the television show headlines Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum; two other comedies debut in limited runs: Will Ferrell's "Casa de mi Padre" and the Jason Segel-Ed Helms starrer "Jeff, Who Lives at Home."

The Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum headliner 21 Jump Street is poised to stir up good business in its domestic box office debut this weekend, with projections showing the film grossing in the $25 million to $30 million range.

The big question is whether the well-reviewed movie can best holdover Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which has ruled the roost for two straight weekends and has grossed $132.2 million to date domestically.

Box-office observers also will be watching to see how much Disney's ill-fated John Carter falls during its second weekend. The big-budget tentpole debuted to a meek $30.2 domestically and has grossed $37.6 million to date domestically.

FILM REVIEW: 21 Jump Street

From Sony and MGM, 21 Jump Street is a comedic take on the classic TV show that launched Johnny Depp's acting career and aired on the Fox network from 1987-91.

In the movie version -- costing $42 million to produce and rated R -- Hill and Tatum are two bumbling police officers who go undercover in a high school to bust up a drug ring. Neal H. Moritz and Stephen J. Cannell produced.

Hill produced 21 Jump Street with Michael Bacall, who penned the script. The movie also stars Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ellie Kemper, Rob Riggle and Ice Cube (and don't be surprised if there is a Depp cameo).

Males under and over the age of 25 are virtually tied in terms of interest, according to prerelease tracking. Those two demos are followed by younger females then older females.

PHOTOS: '21 Jump Street' Premiere: Red Carpet Arrivals

21 Jump Street is the only new nationwide release this weekend, but it's not the only new title featuring well-known comedy stars.

Debuting in limited runs are the Will Ferrell comedy Casa de mi Padre, which Lionsgate opens in 382 theaters. Ferrell produced the film with Adam McKay. Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna also star.

Paramount debuts the Jason Segel-Ed Helms starrer Jeff, Who Lives at Home in 254 theaters. Jay and Mark Duplass wrote and directed the film.

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