Every so often, a matchup takes place that is so epic, it’s still talked about decades later. Ali vs. Frazier, Hogan vs. Andre, Smurfs vs. Snorks, all come to mind.
This this weekend brings the next great battle as two highly anticipated sequels hit the big screen, and both have a shot at opening at number one.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is opening at 4,253 locations, one of the widest releases ever. Dragon 2 lands in theaters four years after the original film opened to $43.7 million in March 2010. , “How to Train Your Dragon” surprised many by earning $217.6 million domestically, and over $277 million overseas.
Critics and audiences loved the film, and: it still has an impressive 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. So what the hell took so long? Your guess is as good as mine.
Four years between films a lifetime in the movie business. there’s a chance the kids who loved the first movie have grown past their Dragon phase. If that’s the case, this movie could have some problems in the long run.
Regardless, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” should still be a hit, and it should benefit from a lack of competition. Families will bring their kids with them and their kids will being a slew of friends with them. With that in mind, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” should win the weekend with around $60 million.
The other new release this weekend is comedy sequel “22 Jump Street” which opens 3,306 theaters. The first film surprised audiences, and they responded to the new take on the 80’s series. “21 Jump Street” earned an impressive $138.4 million domestically and another $63 million overseas. The buddy cop film easily earned back its tiny $42 million budget.
Sony is expecting $45 to $50 million for 22 Jump, which is basically what Fox is predicting for “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” These are two very different movies for two very different audiences and that’s why it will be a closer battle than you think. However, “22 Jump Street” will fall just short of the top spot with $50 million.
If both movies open over $50 million, this will be only the fourth time in history that has happened. The last time it happened was last June when “Monsters University” and “World War Z” earned $82 and $66 million respectively.