Belfast Telegraph

Jump Street vs Dragon at box office

Channing Tatum's 22 Jump Street has beaten How To Train Your Dragon 2 to the top spot at the North American box office, but the dragons soared internationally.

The R-rated comedy, starring Channing and Jonah Hill, debuted in first place in the US with 60 million dollars (£35.3 million), followed by the How To Train Your Dragon sequel, which opened with 50 million dollars (£29.4 million) in ticket sales, according to studio estimates.

Internationally, though, the animated dragon tale, featuring the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett, dwarfed Jump Street with 24.8 million dollars (£14.6 million) to 6.9 million (£4 million), respectively.

Still, it's an impressive showing for two sequels. The original versions of Dragon and Jump Street were springtime releases, and their strong performances then led studios to offer sequels during the hot movie-going months of summer.

"When a studio has ultimate confidence in something, they will put it in that gladiator arena that is the summer season," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "A sequel in the summer is like graduating."

It's rare for two films to open with such big numbers on the same weekend, too, he said. Dergarabedian notes it has happened three times before: last year when Monsters University opened against World War Z; in 2012 when Madagascar 3 opened against Prometheus; and in 2008 when WALL-E opened against Wanted.

Sony's Jump Street stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as bumbling undercover officers who pose as college students to bust a campus drug dealer. Jonah also lends his voice to the animated Dragon, the Fox feature that follows Hiccup and his winged dragon Toothless on an adventure where they discover hundreds of wild dragons and a mysterious dragon master.

"To have two movies that opened to 50-plus, that's really good," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox, which boasts three films in the top 10. "To have a PG-rated, animated film open against a hard R comedy, you gotta love that."

Disney's Maleficent claimed third place in its third week of release at the US box office. Warner Bros' Tom Cruise action romp Edge Of Tomorrow took the fourth spot, followed by last week's top film, Fox's teen tear-jerker The Fault in Our Stars.

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