Weekend Box Office: Audiences “Jump” In

The good guys win.

I know, that’s a really bad title, but I didn’t have anything else.

On to the numbers:

1. 21 Jump Street (MGM/Sony) NEW [3,121 Theaters] R-rated
Weekend $34M

2. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Illumination/Universal) Week 3 [3,769 Theaters] PG-rated
Weekend $21M, Cume $156.6M

3. John Carter (Disney) Week 2 [3,749 Theaters] PG13-rated
Weekend $13.2M (-56%), Cume $52.8M

4. Project X (Warner Bros) Week 3 [2,922 Theaters] R-rated
Weekend $3.9M, Cume $48.0M

5. A Thousand Words (DWorks/Paramount) Week 2 [1,895 Theaters] PG13-rated
Weekend $3.6M (-41%), Cume $11.8M
[numbers courtesy of Deadline]

Congratulations to writer Michael Bacall, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and most of all, to Jonah Hill, who worked really hard to get “21 Jump Street” made in a way that clicked with audiences, even as many of us (including me) moaned, “Not another TV show movie!”  Having this movie do well at the box office and win so many good reviews is to me a bigger victory than a $400 billion opening by a big action/effects movie. It’s much, much harder to make people laugh than to make them say “Ooh!! Look at that explosion!!”  And we all need some good laughs. Points to Channing Tatum, too, for once again showing that he knows how to work the business by choosing a good comedy to show off a different side of him. I don’t know if he’s the greatest actor out there (actually, I know he’s not THE greatest), but I do admire the way he’s managing his career. He reminds me of Mark Wahlberg in that way.

As for “John Carter,” the domestic box office numbers continue to be grim. Some people who have seen the movie complain that it’s not that bad and it’s just been the victim of a bad marketing campaign, followed by the stink of failure. Others say it’s slowly paced, the characters are muddled and it lacks a distinctive look. One thing we can all agree on: it’s losing money.

A surprise winner this weekend: “Casa De Mi Padre,” playing in only 382 theaters, earned  $1.9 million, for an almost $5000 per screen average. That’s not far off from the per screen average for “The Lorax” and better than “John Carter” (I know, kicking while down…). It only cost $6 million to make; maybe they’ll expand it and see how it does.

Next week–get out of the way, “The Hunger Games” is coming….

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