After crushing the August opening record with its $94.3 million debut last weekend, it looks like Guardians of the Galaxy is now in line to get crushed by the return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Paramount’s live-action reboot of the venerable pop-culture franchise took in an estimated $25.6 million on Friday, including $4.6 million from its Thursday p.m. previews. That suggests a first weekend gross of over $60 million – well above the $42 million that Paramount was expecting. TMNT‘s big opening will send Guardians into second place in its sophomore frame. It’s a scenario that was always possible but somehow didn’t seem plausible until this morning.
Full story and Friday’s box office breakdown after the jump.
If it seems like an insult that “the best reviewed blockbuster of the summer” was dethroned after only one week (and by a film that currently rates just 20% on Rotten Tomatoes), there is another way to look at it. Guardians of the Galaxy followed its amazing opening weekend with equally amazing first-week numbers: earning more than any film this summer on its initial Monday – Thursday run. That includes X-Men: Days of Future Past, which got a boost on its first Monday thanks to the Memorial Day holiday.
Guardians is still expected to earn over $40 million this weekend, which would equal a drop of about 55%. If realized, that would be the best sophomore hold for a Marvel feature since The Avengers dominated in May 2012. Of course, all of Marvel’s post-Avengers releases have also managed to stay in first place for more than one weekend: a fact that looks more impressive from a marketing standpoint.
For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the marketing potential of besting Marvel is invaluable. It’s been more than 20 years since the last live-action TMNT hit theatres, so this weekend will mark a huge win for Paramount and producer Michael Bay. The combined power of this weekend’s top two films will also give the domestic box office a much-needed win, with total earnings now expected to exceed 2013 levels by as much as 15%.
Taking TMNT and Guardians out of the mix, the Friday box office looks much more like the August we are all used to: a grab-bag of modest releases bringing even more modest returns. Strongest among this weekend’s also-rans is Warner Bros.’ Into the Storm. The disaster pic earned an estimated $6.5 million from 3,434 locations on Friday and should claim an opening weekend of about $15 million. Step Up All In opened in fifth place on Friday. The fifth entry in the improbably profitable dance franchise (the previous four films have brought in almost $600 million worldwide since 2006) set a new series low and is not expected to top $6 million in its first three days.
A more positive note was hit by Disney’s The Hundred-Foot Journey, which opened in fourth place with an estimated $3.65 million. That should equal an opening weekend of $10 million or higher, which is a bit more than this more-adult offering was expected to bring in, the power of co-producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey notwithstanding.
We’ll have complete details and the weekend box office top ten tomorrow.
|1.||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||$25,600,000||$25.6|
|2.||Guardians of the Galaxy||$12,335,000||$146.7|
|3.||Into the Storm||$6,510,000||$6.5|
|4.||The Hundred-Foot Journey||$3,650,000||$3.6|
|5.||Step Up All In||$2,840,000||$2.8|