Sunday, August 17, 2014

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' holds on to first place, while 'Expendables 3' tanks at weekend box office

After two recent smash hits, the box office was bound to slow down. And although this weekend was still up 6% when compared to last year, both new releases were pretty disappointing. One movie performed in line with modest expectations and the other one downright flopped. Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finished in first place again this weekend with $28.4 million. Ninja Turtles dropped 57% from last weekend and has now banked $117.6 million, which is very strong. I hated the movie and I'm sad to see it doing well, but it's good for the box office, so whatever.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy took second place again and added $24.7 million. The sci-fi smash has now taken in $222.2 million and will definitely end up being the biggest movie of the summer. It will even pass Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the coming weeks, which is an extraordinary achievement. This is truly one of the biggest and best surprises of the year.

In third place was Fox's R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops. The buddy cop film grossed $17.7 million over the 3-day weekend and a total of $26.1 million over five days. Not bad for a film that cost a meager $17 million to make, although I imagine that the marketing costs were astronomical. The film only received a "B" Cinemascore, which isn't great, but Neighbors and Anchorman 2 ended up doing just fine with the same audience approval rating. However, Let's Be Cops is also sitting at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. That's truly horrendous and I imagine that this film will disappear pretty quickly.

The big surprise of the weekend was the total under-performance of The Expendables 3. The PG-13 action thriller took in $16.2 million in 3,221 theaters in fourth place. That's the worst opening for an Expendables movie yet and a huge disappointment. The film received an "A-" Cinemascore, but that's probably not going to do much for the film. Some have blamed this disappointment on the fact that the film was leaked online weeks before it hit theaters, while others have said that the film's PG-13 rating betrayed its target audience. The word of mouth from the pirated copy was admittedly terrible and the 35% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes didn't show otherwise. This is definitely one of the biggest flops of the summer.

The Weinstein Company's The Giver finished in fifth place with $12.7 million. Not a terrible opening for the $25 million film, but it's not an overly impressive performance. The "B+" Cinemascore is solid, although critics have been much less kind (30% on Rotten Tomatoes is awful). I don't see The Giver finishing with more than $30 million, but in the end, that's not completely awful.

Into the Storm took a light 56% drop down to sixth place and ended up with $7.7 million. The decent tornado thriller has now made $31.3 million and will likely close with $45 million. The film cost nearly $50 million, which means that Warner Bros. will probably lose money, but it won't be a huge write-down. Disney's The Hundred-foot Journey was close behind in seventh place with $7.1 million. The light family drama has now grossed $23.6 million and has held very well so far. A finish around $40 million is definitely in the cards.

Universal's Lucy finished in eighth place this weekend and took in another $5.3 million. The R-rated thriller has now made $107.5 million and is considered to be one of the summer's biggest hits. Step Up All In fell 58% to ninth place and made $2.7 million. The dance flick has now grossed $11.8 million. And finally, the terrific Boyhood rounded out the top ten with $2.1 million. The IFC Films release has now made $13.8 million and is one of the studio's highest-grossing films.

In the limited release world, Magic in the Moonlight finished in fourteenth place with $1.8 million. Pundits weren't impressed by this opening and it's probably due to the mediocre response the film has received. It's a decent movie and nothing more. Also, CBS Films' What If grossed $829K in almost 800 theaters, which is pretty awful. It's a good movie that's worth seeking out. And finally, Calvary made $400K in 131 theaters. Very impressive. I can't wait to see that movie.

Next week sees the release of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, If I Stay and When the Game Stands Tall. Here are my predictions:

1. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For- $29 million
2. If I Stay- $21 million
3. When the Game Stands Tall- $16.5 million
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- $13.2 million
5. Guardians of the Galaxy- $12.9 million
6. Let's Be Cops- $7.9 million
7. The Expendables 3- $7.5 million
8. The Giver- $6.3 million
9. The Hundred-foot Journey- $5.5 million
10. Into the Storm- $4.9 million



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