9. How To Train Your Dragon 2
The suffocating glut of CGI animation for kids was one of the big stories of last year. This summer, there was barely a pixel in sight. As such, Dreamworks’s sequel to their lauded 2010 Viking saga had the field pretty much to itself and reviews were strong (stronger than the first film in many quarters).
It came as something of a disappointment then that it could only – only – muster up $49m on its opening weekend. Just as a comparison, Toy Story 3 took $110 in its first three days. Dragon 2’s final $172m will leave it in profit, but sadly this looks like it will be the final Training session.
8. 22 Jump Street
Enormous good will from the unexpectedly brilliant 21 Jump Street helped the sequel open to a blockbuster-sized $57m but it maintained a steady pace, once it became clear that this was the comedy of the summer – the ‘slam-poetry’ contest is probably the funniest scene of 2014.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are fast becoming the best comic double-act of the 21st century, but the spoils must go to writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The talent for sequel deconstruction that they demonstrated here will be studied in universities in years to come and with The Lego Movie currently the third biggest film of the year, 2014 belongs to them. Thank you, boys.