Box Office: Ninja Turtles Slay the Galaxy's Guardians
Hollywood's having its 2nd good weekend in a row, up +18% over last year per Nikki Finke. All hail producer Michael Bay's reboot of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," which should land somewhere close to $60 million by Monday morning. Its B from Cinemascore doesn't bode well for any kind of staying power but that might not matter for a film attracting kids and old folks like myself with only fond memories for the original franchise.
There's no question "Turtles" did much better than anyone expected this weekend. There was talk that in weekend two "Guardians of the Galaxy" might hang on to the top spot.
It wasn't even close.
Coming in 2nd is the Marvel phenom. The record-setter (August opening) dropped 55% over its debut weekend but will still haul in another $42 million. That 55% drop shouldn't be judged in the usual way. A drop of that size usually means a movie was front-loaded and doesn't have much staying power. "Guardians" is different. It's been breaking daily box office records (again, for August) throughout the work week.
By Monday Groot and company will have earned $175 million. That puts "Guardians" in a dead heat with "Transformers 4," which grossed $242 million domestic. I suspect "Guardians" will eventually out-gross "Transformers 4" but that sweet-sweet $300 million number that truly screams blockbuster is probably out of reach.
Warner Brothers' pretty awful "Into the Storm" slid into third place with a $17 million debut.
Apparently using Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey as your salespeople does work. From out of nowhere, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" landed in 4th place with $10 million. Trailers for the Helen Mirren drama centered on producers Spielberg and Winfrey talking about how much they like their own movie. Imagine what they could do with Ginsu knives.
"Lucy" petered as quickly as a C from Cinemascore foretells. After three weeks, the magic $100 million number still eludes. A $9 million weekend will bring the Scarlett Johansson action flick to just $97 million.
Just as frustrating for Fox is "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," which will land just short of $200 million after week five: $197 million. It looks as though the well-reviewed "Apes" sequel will failed to even hit $225 million.
Brett Ratner's "Hercules" is dead. After 3 weeks, $62 million for a $100 million film is disastrous. I don’t know how many foreign territories The Rock's retelling of the mythical story has yet to open in, but as of now the foreign grosses are as bad as the domestic. "Hercules" will almost certainly have to gross somewhere around $$300 to $350 million to break even. As of now the worldwide gross is a brutal $114 million.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC