Though it was down 7% from last year (thanks March Madness), it was another impressive showing at the box office this weekend, mostly due to the mix of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s popularity and hugely positive reviews for “21 Jump Street,” which took the top spot with $35 million. But there was also an assist from a certain curly-haired comedian showing off his español.
Jonah Hill / Channing Tatum – “21 Jump Street”
After years of trying to get a feature-length film version of the popular ’80s TV show off the ground, Sony/MGM couldn’t be happier with the result. Thanks to their two leads at the height of their stardom — with Hill coming off an Oscar nomination for “Moneyball” and Tatum already with a box office darling under his belt this year with the tearjerker, “The Vow” – there was no problem getting their fans to the theaters.
The good news started for the film when it received extremely positive feedback at the SxSW Film Festival. It also didn’t hurt that Tatum got himself a profile in the New York Times Arts section and talked about his previous life as a stripper for GQ Style UK, Hill made his own headlines saying he’s tiring of comedy roles. James Franco’s little brother Dave, who’s also in the film, got the “hot brother” headlines.
But not everyone was happy with the film. One of the TV version’s stars, Richard Grieco, was disappointed it wasn’t as dark as the TV show. Ya can’t please them all.
Zac Efron / Taylor Swift / Danny DeVito – “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”
“The Lorax” was finally dethroned from the top spot but still managed a very respectable silver in the box office this weekend with $22.8 million (making its North American gross over $150 million). Reports say “The Cat in the Hat” will likely be the next Dr. Seuss film you’ll bring your kids to. Yes, you may recall the 2003 Mike Myers version, but hopefully the second time is the charm.
Taylor Kitsch – “John Carter”
With grossing only $13.5 million this weekend (a 56% drop from last weekend) it looks like “John Carter” is officially a bust. But, as EW reported this week, at least it’s no “Ishtar.”
Will Ferrell – “Casa de mi padre”
What do you get when you place Will Ferrell in a Spanish-language spaghetti western? A pretty damn good comedy. Ferrell’s latest, “Casa de mi padre” made a respectable earning of $2.2 million in only 382 locations this weekend (2nd biggest per screen average). This is in large part to Ferrell’s star power and loyal fan base. The funnyman also backed it all he could, going on the Today show and The Daily Show during the week. This one is a cinch to make its money back (reportedly a $6 million budget) as it’s certain to make big sales on VOD/DVD.
Jason Segel / Ed Helms – “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”
The latest from indie stalwarts, the Duplass brothers, Jason Segel is the new star actor to play their social outcast, starring in the lead as the basement-dwelling title character, while Ed Helms (who’s also in ‘The Lorax’) co-stars as his brother. Though it wasn’t expected to do much business this weekend ($840,000 in 254 theaters) it did get some buzz. News broke this week that Segel and Michelle Williams were spotted sharing giggles one evening at the Chateau Marmont. Though this really happened back in late February it just so happened the news didn’t come out until “Home”’s opening weekend. Can’t hurt ‘em for trying.
And, drumroll please, The Celebs.com Winners of the Week Are…
With unanimous approval from not only fans but critics, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum proved “21 Jump Street” could actually be rebooted for a movie (if done properly). Now they are going to roll the dice on a sequel! The stars are slated to return so even ’21 Jump Street 2′ has a chance. And we can’t leave out Ferrell for the honorable mention, who looks to have another cult hit on his hands. Can the man do anything wrong? (Don’t answer that, we’re still trying to forget “Everything Must Go.”)