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'Jump Street' guns down 'Dragon' to lead weekend box office

By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "22 Jump Street," starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as cops who return to college undercover, collected $60 million in ticket sales at domestic theaters over the weekend, out-gunning animated "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

The sequel to the 2012 hit "21 Jump Street" handily topped "How to Train Your Dragon 2," a sequel to the 2010 blockbuster which took in $50 million from Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian box offices, according to tracking firm Rentrak.

"Maleficent," Disney's take on "Sleeping Beauty" starring Angelina Jolie as the spell-casting evil fairy, was third with $19 million. "Maleficent" has totaled $163.5 million since its May 30 release, for a global total of more than $436 million.

"22 Jump Street" started the weekend on a strong note, collecting $5.5 million in ticket sales at Thursday night shows, according to Box Office Mojo, which called the take "awesome."

"The picture is aligned to be the second-biggest R-rated comedy of all time," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at Sony Pictures which distributed it, citing the strong debut which was the second-best R-comedy opening in history, after "The Hangover 2."

Studio officials said "How to Train Your Dragon 2" had been poised to open somewhere around $45 million to $48 million, "so going to $50 million is phenomenal," said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox, the unit of 21st Century Fox that distributed the film.

Aronson added that the coming weeks boded well for the film, with no animated features opening in the next month.

The Tom Cruise sci-fi film "Edge of Tomorrow," about a soldier who relives each day after dying in battle, was fourth with $16.2 million during a disappointing domestic run which has so far totaled $56.6 million. It has added sales well over twice that much in international markets.

"The Fault in our Stars," the $12 million teen drama that led last weekend's box office, fell to fifth with sales of $15.7 million. The film about a girl who finds love after being stricken with cancer has totaled $81.7 million over its run.

"How to Train Your Dragon 2" was produced by Dreamworks Animation and distributed by 21st Century Fox's Fox studio.

Sony's Columbia Pictures released "22 Jump Street."Walt Disney distributed "Maleficent."

"Edge of Tomorrow" was distributed by Warner Brothers, a unit of Time Warner.

(Reporting by Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Chris Reese)

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