’21 Jump Street’ Denies ‘The Lorax’ 3-Peat

Box Office: Buddy Comedy Reboot's Debut is Biggest Ever for a High School Movie

March 18, 2012 by

The ginormous arrival of The Lorax easily shut down fellow opener Project X a couple weekends ago and grounded John Carter‘s lift-off last weekend, but the little mustached man was denied the first three-peat at the domestic box office this year by another high school comedy’s debut this weekend. Starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops posing as high school students, TV adaptation 21 Jump Street raked in the most green over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

21 Jump Street not only was a hit with audiences, but it currently sits at an amazing 89 on Rotten Tomatoes. Tatum’s previous film, romantic drama The Vow, which also enjoyed a surprising opening of its own, previously had the biggest debut of 2012 until The Lorax broke that record like a Once-ler promise, so perhaps this win tasted a little sweeter for him.

It’s gotta be just as rewarding for Jonah Hill, too. After failing to carry The Shi–I mean, The Sitter in his first solo headlining role (and his last “not-so-Slim-Shady” one), Hill has moved way beyond one of our finalists for Worst Movie of the Year and instead has been riding a wave of success that’s included Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his performance in Moneyball. And now his newest film just broke the record for biggest opening for a movie set in high school (who comes up with these titles by the way?), which was previously held by another film (Superbad) he not only starred in, but broke through in.

But if you go by the color of the Irish weekend, maybe the real winner is still the orange guy after all. The Lorax has already grossed more than the entire theatrical run of the previous computer animated 3D Dr. Seuss movie, Horton Hears a Who!, and remains the early top blockbuster of the year, something last week’s runner-up, John Carter, strove for but will fall way short of as the sci-fi adventure suffered a big hit in its second week. John Carter still managed to medal, but it’ll be lucky to bring back half of its massive production budget. If estimated numbers hold up, then Project X will claim fourth, and A Thousand Words will have crawled up to fifth.

Here were the top five in the domestic box office last weekend via BOM:

  1. 21 Jump Street — Weekend Gross: $35 million — Total Gross: $35 million (new)
  2. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax— Weekend Gross: $22.8 million — Total Gross: $158.4 million (#1 last week)
  3. John Carter — Weekend Gross: $13.5 million — Total Gross: $53.1 million (#2 last week)
  4. Project X — Weekend Gross: $4 million — Total Gross: $48.1 million (#3 last week)
  5. A Thousand Words — Weekend Gross: $3.8 million — Total Gross: $12.1 million (#6 last week)