Reviews for both of this weekend’s wide releases have been overwhelmingly positive, though skipping past the deceptive Tomatometer to the more measured Metacritic scale shows support for “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is a bit soft. As in everybody likes it, but love? It’s not funny enough to earn that.
Box Office Mojo figures that will be to blame if this tepid sequel doesn’t do epic business. Word of mouth could push it down to the $40s, but the high end of expectations should be $67-million for an animated sequel.
Box Office Guru figures the tight one-two box office race this weekend will be a dead heat, and splits the difference on “Dragon” expectations. A kids’ cartoon with so few laughs cannot be edited into a trailer that makes you chuckle. Maybe the kids will know. Guru thinks $54 million for “Dragon,” and $53 for “Jump Street.“
Blockbuster R-rated comedy sequels are all compared to “The Hangover” films, which suggests that the critically-adored “22 Jump Street” could be in for a bonanza. $50 million says Mojo.
All of the summer’s blockbusters have opened and faded fast, so “Fault in their Stars” and “Edge of Tomorrow” will test that pattern. “Fault” could have longer legs and stick around in the top three through the end of the month, when “Transformers” opens. “Maleficent” is doing what “Godzilla” did what “X-Men” has done, and so forth.
The steadily-building feel good comedy “Chef” should fall out of the top ten. But you never know. It’s this summer’s “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” and if it hopes to be, it will have to stick around through July to hit $50 million. I don’t see that happening. Nice for theaters to have as counter-programming, but it should lose screens, starting this weekend. “Belle” is spent and hasn’t reached $10 yet. “Heaven is for Real” is losing screens but will have cleared $90 million by Monday or Tuesday.