A summer sequel showdown kicks off this weekend as
Two new movies -- "22 Jump Street," from Columbia Pictures and
Both could gross $60 million to $65 million in ticket sales through Sunday in the United States and Canada, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys, though the 3D computer-animated fantasy should out-gross "22 Jump Street" in the long run.
Studios behind the movies are projecting more conservative figures than analysts are predicting. "Dragon 2's" distributor
Critics' reviews bode well for both movies, represented by "freshness" scores of 92% and 87% on Rotten Tomatoes for "Dragon 2" and "22 Jump Street," respectively, as of Thursday.
Written and directed by
The sequel, which cost $145 million to make, should break a rash of recent disappointments for DreamWorks Animation.
The studio's last effort, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," opened with $32.2 million in March and went on to gross just shy of $268 million worldwide, after last year's
Even if "Dragon 2" opens at the low end of expectations, it would still beat the debut of the 2010 original, which took in $43.7 million in its first three days in domestic release and ended its global run with nearly $495 million, including $218 million from the U.S. and Canada.
The follow-up should take advantage of the lack of animated competition in the market, unlike last year when executives blamed a cartoon glut for the sluggish performance of "Turbo."
In the $50-million production "22 Jump Street," Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprise their roles as underachieving police officers, who this time must go undercover at a local college. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller returned for the sequel, and had a hit earlier this year with the animated winner
Launched in 2012, "22's" predecessor
"22 Jump Street" should be a successful entrant into this summer's busy lineup of R-rated comedies that has so far included a strong debut from the
Last week's victor, "The Fault in Our Stars," about two teens who meet in a cancer support group and fall in love, should add $20 million to $25 million to its domestic haul. It grossed $48 million last weekend.