Even with recognizable stars, an identifiable brand and a trailer chock full of sharp, perverse jokes, 21 Jump Street was still a risky move for Sony Pictures—but one that should pay off by the end of the weekend. Hollywood.com's Box Office Analyst Paul Dergarabedian predicts that the Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill comedy could bring in between $25 to $30 million, which should be a modest success for the film (not to mention Sony's third number one debut of 2012, after Underworld: Awakening and The Vow).
Universal's animated Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax, which took the top spot for a second consecutive weekend, should slip down to number two this weekend, adding $20 million to its bounty. The Lorax may speak for the trees, but at the rate the family-friendly cartoon is raking up cash—the movie should wind up with $150 million total by Sunday—perhaps concern should be taken for the paper industry.
Trailing behind the frontrunners is Disney's epic John Carter, which found itself in a heated battle with The Lorax, only to land in second place at the end of last weekend. The mega-budgeted sci-fi movie may not be able to recoup its entire cost by the end of its theatrical run, but Dergarabedian suggests that should still bring in enough to pass the $50 million domestic mark this weekend (adding to the grand 70.6 million international business it didn last weekend).
Other highlights from the weekend are the found-footage party movie Project X, which should cross $50 million before its parents come home, and Act of Valor, the surprise hit of the year that continues to add sing digit millions to its pot.