Weekend Box Office: NINJA TURTLES Rule for Second Week; EXPENDABLES 3 Overtaken by LET’S BE COPS

by     Posted 124 days ago

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The top two spots on the box office chart remained unchanged for a second weekend, as audiences favored Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy over a handful of new releases.  But in something of a surprise, the strongest of those new films turned out to be Let’s Be Cops.  The R-rated comedy has moved ahead of The Expendables 3 since Friday, which might say more about the weakness of the latter rather than the strength of the former.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $28,400,000 $117.6
2.  Guardians of the Galaxy $24,735,000 $222.2
3.  Let’s Be Cops $17,700,000 $26.1
4.  The Expendables 3 $16,200,000 $16.2
5.  The Giver $12,760,000 $12.7
6.  Into the Storm $7,720,000 $31.3
7.  The Hundred-Foot Journey $7,109,000 $23.6
8.  Lucy $5,317,000 $107.5
9.  Step Up All In $2,700,000 $11.8
10.  Boyhood $2,150,000 $13.8

 

Full story after the jump.

expendables-3-final-posterNo one was expecting The Expendables 3 to open in first place this weekend – the term “franchise fatigue” seems to have been written specifically to apply to this four year-old series.  Then again, a second place debut as high as $23 million didn’t seem out of the question.  In August 2012, The Expendables 2 opened with $28.5 million, which was down about 18% from 2010 when The Expendables became a surprise late-summer success story.  But instead of another 20% drop this time around, The Expendables 3 was off by almost 44% from its immediate predecessor.  That’s fairly disastrous, especially considering the steps that were taken to keep the franchise alive.

When The Expendables first hit theatres I’m not sure anyone but Sylvester Stallone imagined it as a bona fide franchise.  The premise of bringing past and current action stars together in one film felt like a fun one-off, especially as the cast grew to include big names like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  But that film’s global success ($274 million worldwide; $80 million budget) guaranteed a sequel, and when The Expendables 2 came along in 2012 the formula still seemed to be working.

That formula included two main ingredients: a steady infusion of new cast members and an R-rating.  The Expendables 3 definitely kept the cast part intact, including 17 stars on its posters, few of which appeared in the first two films.  But this time around the producers went for a PG-13 rating over the ‘R’ for the first time, ostensibly to bring in younger audiences.  The fact that the R-rated Let’s Be Cops outperformed the sequel, indicates that that probably wasn’t the best move.  The saving grace for The Expendables 3 (as with many other titles this summer) may come from international audiences.  The Expendables 2 earned over 72% of its global gross overseas.  Considering that a $50 million domestic total now looks iffy, international audiences will have to do most of the work to make E3 profitable.

lets-be-cops-posterAlthough it opened in line with its modest projections, Let’s Be Cops is already looking like a box office winner.  Far from being overshadowed by The Expendables 3 (Fox went with a Wednesday launch to avoid the franchise’s opening) the low budget action comedy beat out its higher-profile competition to take third place.  That’s especially impressive considering that Let’s Be Cops burned off some of its demand with a mid-week opening and because, in sharp contrast to The Expendables’ overstuffed roster, the film has no major stars.  Unfortunately, the other thing that Let’s Be Cop doesn’t have is good word of mouth.  It received a B CinemaScore from audiences (E3 got an A-) and has a current Rotten Tomatoes rank of 11% – lower even than Transformers 4.

The weekend’s final new release was The Giver, the adaptation of the bestselling fantasy novel by Lois Lowry.  The book was first published over 20 years ago, but has just made it to the big screen thanks to young adult success stories like The Hunger Games and the Twilight Saga.  Unfortunately, The Giver looks a lot closer to recent young adult misses like The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Beautiful Creatures.  From 3,003 locations, The Giver earned an estimated $12.6 million.  Compare that Boyhood, which broke into the box office top ten for the first time after five weeks of limited release.  The critically acclaimed drama earned an estimated $2.15 million from just 771 locations and brought its domestic total close to $14 million.

Even with new releases that failed to deliver, this weekend’s overall box office came out ahead of the same frame last year, which saw The Butler open in first place with $24.6 million.  Next weekend will deliver another handful of new titles, with Warner Bros.’ If I Stay holding the best chance to unseat Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The drama is expected to earn close to $20 million, with Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For not far behind with a projection of just over $15 million.  I wouldn’t expect great holds from any of this weekend’s newbies but, then again, I also didn’t expect TMNT to rule the box office for two weeks in a row so what do I know.

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  • jdjd

    Does this mean we’re finally done with the expendables franchise?

    • Neven

      I hope so.

    • Neven

      I hope so.

    • Kyle Chandler

      I really want those movies to be better than they are. I like so many of the guys in there, but they just feel like poorly made mix tapes.They also need to trim the fat considerably. Get rid of all the “young guns” and focus on the old-guys. That’s what people are there to see anyway, and it would keep your cast from featuring 100 people.

      I do hope that the irony isn’t lost on them that they caved and went with an PG-13-rating and then got beat out by an R rated comedy.

      • mattinacan

        ha! great point at the end there. also, i loved you in friday night lights.

      • mattinacan

        ha! great point at the end there. also, i loved you in friday night lights.

    • Kyle Chandler

      I really want those movies to be better than they are. I like so many of the guys in there, but they just feel like poorly made mix tapes.They also need to trim the fat considerably. Get rid of all the “young guns” and focus on the old-guys. That’s what people are there to see anyway, and it would keep your cast from featuring 100 people.

      I do hope that the irony isn’t lost on them that they caved and went with an PG-13-rating and then got beat out by an R rated comedy.

    • Jack Dennis

      I doubt it.Overseas numbers will probably justify another sequel , but with a reduced budget.Hopefully I’m wrong.

    • RiddleThemThis

      I don’t get all the hate with this franchise. Sure it isn’t the best thing in the world and a lot of the stars have had better solo films, but it gives us a chance to see a lot of actors make returns from the direct to dvd marketplace. I personally enjoy seeing guys like JCVD and Lundgren making a return to big budget films. If the franchise dies, that’ll be it for those guys, it’s not like they’re just going to replace it with a better quality version of the same thing.

    • RiddleThemThis

      I don’t get all the hate with this franchise. Sure it isn’t the best thing in the world and a lot of the stars have had better solo films, but it gives us a chance to see a lot of actors make returns from the direct to dvd marketplace. I personally enjoy seeing guys like JCVD and Lundgren making a return to big budget films. If the franchise dies, that’ll be it for those guys, it’s not like they’re just going to replace it with a better quality version of the same thing.

  • jdjd

    Does this mean we’re finally done with the expendables franchise?

  • gar216

    I loved The Expendables. The 2nd one lacked the “charm” (for lack of a better term) of the first. I will catch the 3rd one once it makes its way to Netflix.

  • gar216

    I loved The Expendables. The 2nd one lacked the “charm” (for lack of a better term) of the first. I will catch the 3rd one once it makes its way to Netflix.

  • Sten

    Next time make it better hard R, Sly. That is all.

  • Colin Christian

    Should have gone with the R rating,at least then they would have come in 3rd. Robocop remake too,it would have been a lot more fun with a heavy R rating and probably more successful. Sometimes,the grown ups don’t want kids around,no shame in that,embrace it!

  • Colin Christian

    Should have gone with the R rating,at least then they would have come in 3rd. Robocop remake too,it would have been a lot more fun with a heavy R rating and probably more successful. Sometimes,the grown ups don’t want kids around,no shame in that,embrace it!

  • Cpt Rex Kramer

    Awww, only off by four million. I thought for sure GOTG would jump back on top. Oh well.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Oh well is right

    • Manuel Orozco

      Oh well is right

    • DEADP00L

      Considering how long GOTG have been out I am impressed its still doing so well.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I’m impressed too

      • Manuel Orozco

        I’m impressed too

      • Grayden

        It’s sad that being out for a whole two weeks, and still in the top two, beats the prescribed life expectancy for a summer blockbuster.

      • DEADP00L

        Why is that?

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Isn’t it actually a good thing that the life expectancy is so short? That implies there are good movies coming out every week or every other week. I think it’s sadder when a movie like Avatar or Titanic stays at number 1 for months because there’s months of garbage without any other real contenders.

      • Grayden

        It’s sad that being out for a whole two weeks, and still in the top two, beats the prescribed life expectancy for a summer blockbuster.

    • DEADP00L

      Considering how long GOTG have been out I am impressed its still doing so well.

  • who

    I knew this would happen and I am glad cuz the adverts for EX3 were sooo obnoxious and full of themselves. I want these movies to be like actual classic 80′s movies….and ys they need to be rated R…that pic of the Turtles in the background of April is symbolic of how they are in the movie!!! TOYSSSSSS

  • who

    I knew this would happen and I am glad cuz the adverts for EX3 were sooo obnoxious and full of themselves. I want these movies to be like actual classic 80′s movies….and ys they need to be rated R…that pic of the Turtles in the background of April is symbolic of how they are in the movie!!! TOYSSSSSS

  • Matt1

    Always enjoy Nicole’s weekend recaps… Way more than I like reading that dumb bitch who does these for EW!

  • Matt1

    Always enjoy Nicole’s weekend recaps… Way more than I like reading that dumb bitch who does these for EW!

  • Mezmero

    Told you so!

    • Um Sure

      Yes, you heralded that garbage would prevail for a second week in a row and you were indeed correct. But, sorry, no one wins anything.

  • Alboone

    The writing is on the wall with Stallone’s career at this point. He thought he could cash in with his ego intact and again it backfired, just like what happened to him during the late 80′s, mid 90′s, early 2000′s. He is running for the hills back to Rocky land with Creed starring Michael B. Jordan.

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