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Three major titles entered the marketplace this weekend and only one succeeded. While the overall top 12 grossing films earned a nearly identical $124 million as they did on this same weekend last year, another tentpole sequel opened to disappointing results.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows opened on Thursday night and generated an estimated $35.2 million this weekend. That’s a 46% drop from the first movie two years ago. Also keep in mind that Paramount is projecting a slim decline for Sunday, probably to boost their opening weekend number by a few digits for the headlines. Either way, this is a disappointing result despite tracking that suggested this film could see a sizable drop.
The first movie wasn’t very well liked, but still took advantage of the month of August to climb to a $191 million total. If the sequel, which is earning slightly better marks from critics and audiences, can hold throughout the next month or two, it might get to $100 million. However, Out of the Shadows is facing tougher competition for young audiences. This could be the end of this particular version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
In second place, X-Men: Apocalypse fell by 66.1%, a drop similar to its predecessors. The film earned $22 million this weekend and has $116.5 million total. It will probably top out in the $150-160 million range, ultimately selling less tickets than X-Men: First Class, and far less than Days of Future Past. In fact, the film will probably wind up as the second-lowest ticket-seller in the X-Men franchise, save for 2012’s The Wolverine. However, the film has climbed to $402 million worldwide after a robust $59 million weekend in China. This means the sequel will be saved by international grosses. It remains to be seen where Fox takes the franchise next as domestic interest levels are certainly dropping.
Me Before You opened to a solid $18.2 million in third place, surpassing expectations in the process. This is a nice little win for Warner Bros. The Emilia Clarke-starrer earned a fantastic ‘A’ Cinemascore from audiences and could potentially hang around this month as solid counter-programming to some of the major action-oriented blockbusters.
In fourth place, Alice Through the Looking Glass is fading fast. The outright bomb collapsed 60% this weekend to a paltry $10.6 million, and won’t be around much longer. The film has earned only $50 million domestically and $176 million worldwide. It will struggle to earn even a third of its predecessor’s total worldwide gross.
In other holdover news, Angry Birds is still doing decent business having earned $9.7 million and boosting its total to $86 million. Captain America: Civil War continues to drop around 50% of its audience each weekend, but has $388 million in total after five weeks. Neighbors 2 is still a train wreck compared to the original, boosting its cume to $48.5 million after three weeks — a total less than the opening weekend of Neighbors (2014).
Way down the chart in 8th place, Andy Samburg’s spoof comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping did not make much of an impact with audiences despite fantastic reviews heralding it as the funniest movie of the year. Paying customers saw it differently, and gave the film an okay ‘B’ Cinemascore. The Universal Pictures film bombed with only $4.63 million for a very mild $2,003 per theater average. Expect it to disappear in two weeks time, and possibly find an audience once it hits streaming services and Redbox.
Holdovers The Jungle Book and The Nice Guys rounded out the top ten this weekend, boosting their totals to $347 million and $29 million, respectively.
In other major news, Zootopia topped $1 billion worldwide, becoming only the second film to do so this year after Disney’s own Captain America: Civil War.
Next weekend sees another set of three major releases, all looking to earn major dollars. The Conjuring 2, Now You See Me 2, and Warcraft open, but with a lot of crossover audience among them. It will be interesting to see which of these big titles gets cannibalized next weekend.
Sources: Box Office Mojo, Cinemascore
Images: Paramount, Warner Bros.