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21 Jump Street enjoys record $35 million US opening

21 Jump Street

Story by Jack Foley

JONAH Hill-Channing Tatum action-comedy 21 Jump Street has topped the US box office with a record $35 million.

The film nabbed the best debut ever for a non-sequel, non-summer R-rated comedy, as well as one of the best bows of all-time for an action-buddy comedy or a television-to-film adaptation.

The movie is based on the classic TV series of the same name, which first brought Johnny Depp to attention.

It took a further $7 million internationally, including a standout $4.3 million in Australia, where it beat past R-rated comedies such as The Hangover and Tropic Thunder, and $2.5 million in the UK.

Commenting on the opening figures, Sony worldwide president of distribution Rory Bruer said: “The chemistry between Jonah and Channing was off the hook. You expect Jonah to be funny, but people were blown away by Channing’s comedy chops.”

The opening performance vindicates Sony’s decision to commission a sequel, which is now being written.

Elsewhere at the US box office, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, which had taken top spot for the past two weekends, continued to perform well, coming in second with $22.8 million. It has now taken $158.4 million in the US alone and can now comfortably command the best showing of 2012 so far.

But Disney’s John Carter continued to struggle, grossing $13.5 million in its second weekend for a 10-day US total of $53.2 million.

Overseas, the film grossed a further $40.7 million – which included a strong $10.4 million debut in China – for an international total so far of $126.1 million and a world-wide sum of $179.3 million.

But while that represents a sizeable box office sum for most films, it’s still some way short of the film’s $250 million budget, with industry pundits now predicting that Disney is looking at a ‘writedown’ in excess of $100 million.

John Carter was third ahead of Project X and A Thousand Words, the critically-maligned Eddie Murphy comedy.

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