Box Office: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell-Shocks Competition With $65 Million Opening

Turtle or mutated avocado?

“Samsonite. I was way off.”

That’s how I felt about the performance of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a reboot courtesy of Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company. I thought maybe it would rake in around $40-$45 million opening weekend and have a photo finish with Guardians of the Galaxy to see who would finish first.


Instead it made $65 million in large part by parents who deemed it suitable enough for their youngsters, despite its PG-13 rating. It was wise on part of the marketing team to not show the multitude of times reporter April O’Neill is hit on by men and, um, teenaged turtles. The success of Turtles again spells out that people will pay to see crap. And if you keep throwing enough money at something long enough, sooner or later you’ll walk into a cineplex and the only movie playing on all screens is something called “Ass.” Those who don’t believe me better watch Mike Judge’s Idiocracy. We’re almost there, people. Oh, and a sequel to Ninja Turtles has already been given greenlight for production. Thanks a lot, America.

With families swarming and thirty-somethings nostalgic for those mutant ninjas that crave pizza and say things like “Cowabunga, dude!” and “Tubular” (not to mention Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap”), what happened with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy? The good news is that it still kicked all sorts of ass earning an estimated $41.5 million. While its audience from opening weekend dipped by 56%, Guardians had some of the best numbers on Monday and Tuesday than any other movie this summer. We’re talking making an average of $11.5 million per day (it even made more money on Tuesday compared to Monday). With $313 million in worldwide grosses so far replays are strong for this one.

As counter-programming to the summer blockbusters, the Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey produced The Hundred-Foot Journey performed surprisingly well on a little more than 2,000 screens with $11.1 million. It’s close to Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, which netted $13.3 million but played on more screens for its debut, but not quite the $20 million and change that Julie & Julia, a foodie movie like Journey, made when opened in 2009. Nevertheless, the opening weekend performance of The Hundred-Foot Journey ranks as one of Helen Mirren’s best openings in a lead role.

Now here’s a movie I saw but a few advertisements for, including most recently on the Divergent Blu-ray release. Step Up All In, the fifth in the Step Up franchise. If it weren’t for the fact that these are the equivalent to most horror movies (ahem cheap to produce), the franchise would have stopped a few movies ago. Each new installment makes less and less, and its $6.5 million weekend is $5.2 million less than what Step Up Revolution made in 2012. That movie would go on to make $35 million; I think this one will struggle to make it to $25 million.

The other big new release was Into the Storm starring Richard Armitage. Though, if you watched the advertising, then you know the star is of course the special effects. With a $18 million opening, it looked like a SFX heavy Twister only you didn’t have Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ferris Bueller’s best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), as background characters. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it (or in this case get sucked into a cyclone – thankfully no sharknados in this one).

Other developments. This time next week Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will have finally surpassed $200 million domestic. Philip Seymour’s last starring role, A Most Wanted Man, is holding relatively strong in limited release adding another $2.2 million to bring this three-week total to $10.4 million. IFC Films’ Boyhood added 197 theaters to bring its theater count to 507. With the expansion the coming-of-age drama only suffered a 12.9% dip in attendance, the best of any film at the box office. It has now raked in $10.65 million in five weeks.

Top 10 estimates below.

01. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) – $65 Million
02. Guardians of the Galaxy – $41.5 Million ($175.9 mil)
03. Into the Storm – $18 Million
04. The Hundred-Foot Journey – $11.1 Million
05. Lucy – $9.3 Million ($97.3 mil)
06. Step Up All In – $6.5 Million
07. Hercules (2014) – $5.7 Million ($63.4 Million)
08. Get On Up – $5 Million ($22.9 mil)
09. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $4.4 Million ($197.8 mil)
10. Planes: Fire & Rescue – $2.4 Million ($52.9 mil)

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