Box Office: '22 Jump Street' Edges Ahead of 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

Glen Wilson/Columbia Pictures
"22 Jump Street"

The Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill comedy is headed toward a $60 million-plus weekend, while DreamWorks Animation's new animated movie is looking to collect more than $55 million.

Sony/MGM's 22 Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, and DreamWorks Animation/Fox's How to Train Your Dragon 2 both shot out of the starting gate Friday, but the Jump Street sequel is currently enjoying a slight edge.

Jump, the R-rated comedy about two bumbling undercover cops posing as college kids, appears headed for a $23 million to $24 million opening day and should then go on to pass the $60 million mark for its opening weekend. Its first-day gross got a boost from the $5.5 million in tickets it sold when it began rolling out in North America on Thursday night.

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Meanwhile, Dragon, which took in $2 million Thursday night, is eyeing a first-day total of about $20 million. Over Father's Day weekend, it could take in around $57 million.

22 Jump Street, which is the highest-testing R-rated title in Sony's history, did nearly double the Thursday-night business that Universal's Neighbors enjoyed in May ($2.5 million) and enjoys an advantage since many schools and colleges are on summer break. Neighbors went on to gross nearly $50 million for the weekend.

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Last weekend, the new Jump Street debuted to an eye-popping $8.1 million in the U.K., compared to $2.5 million for 21 Jump Street, which was released in March 2012. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) directed both the original and the sequel. Moviegoers, both male and female, between the ages of 17 and 34 are the most ardent fans of Jump Street. Released in March 2012, 21 Jump Street debuted to $36.3 million on its way to grossing $201.6 million globally.

Dragon 2 opens at a critical time for Jeffrey Katzenberg's DWA, which has suffered a string of box-office misfires, including its most recent film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Dean DeBlois returned to direct Dragon 2, which follows the heroic Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his faithful dragon as they try to save the world from the power-hungry Drago. The voice cast also features Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera and Hill.  

The first Dragon opened to $43.7 million in March 2010 on its way to grossing $494.9 million globally. Dragon 2 opens in 20 international markets this weekend, including Russia. The animated film hopes to benefit by providing counterprogramming to the World Cup, which got underway in Brazil on Thursday.