21 Jump Street opens with $4m, takes almost 40 per cent of weekend box office

Action comedy 21 Jump Street debuted at number one in its opening weekend, taking just over $4 million across 300 screens.

This equates to 38 per cent of the total weekend box office – an opening 16 per cent greater than similarly crass buddy-comedy The Hangover and 31 per cent more than Tropic Thunder.

The film, which stars Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Superbad) and Channing Tatum (The Vow, Dear John) is an adaptation of the 1980s Fox TV series about a special unit of police working undercover in high schools. The MPDAA reports that the Sony Pictures film made a screen average of $13,658.

Disney sci-fi epic John Carter dropped to second place this week, adding 164 screens but dropping 49 per cent. It earned $1,575,314 across 410 screens, giving it a screen average of $3,842 – a considerable dip from last week's average of $12,571.

Ghostrider: Spirit of Vengeance grossed $827,882 across 239 screens in its first weekend, while Project X dropped 52 per cent ($525,862) and recession-themed film Margin Call opened with $446,886 and a screen average of $7840.

Ghostrider: Spirit of Vengeance features the visual effects work of Australian-based Iloura.

Amongst independent releases, Iranian film A Separation added nine screens to its run, taking in $167,836 on 34 screens. The Oscar-winning film was completed with a grant from Screen Queensland's Asia Pacific Screen Awards film fund.

This week will see the release of the highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel The Hunger Games. Midnight screenings for the film, which stars Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, have already sold out across the country. The Raid from director Gareth Evans also opens.

2012 Australian Box Office. Sources: MPDAA, IF Magazine