With four wide releases over the weekend, it was bound to be a packed box-office in North America. But the real battle at the top was always going to be between Teenage Mutant Ninja Tales and the Guardians of the Galaxy in its second weekend. What kind of turnout would the latest rendition of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bring? Would the popularity of the age-old Turtles extend to this Michael Bay produced movie? Going by the box-office collections, the adventurous Turtles still attract a lot of attention. Teenage Mutant Ninja Tales opened in North America to a pretty solid $65 million. That’s a brilliant opening when you consider that the movie’s production budget was $125 million which is much lower than the rather high budgets of summer flicks which range from $170 million to $200 million (and even more). Also, the movie earned terrible critic reviews (which Michael Bay must have gotten used to by now) but the audience paid little heed to these, and came to the theatres to relive their love for the Turtles. While this movie will be falling short of $200 million in the domestic market, the brand of the Turtles is popular in many foreign lands too, which should get this movie a more than decent box-office collection from abroad. No wonder, Paramount Pictures has already announced its plans for a sequel. This one is another certified hit!
The much loved Guardians of the Galaxy took a 56% drop on its second weekend, which is in fact the lowest drop among the big movies seen during the summer. Star-Lord and his crew are in line to post the best domestic box-office results of the summer period this year. The movie has earned $176 million domestically so far, while its worldwide tally is $313 million. Still early days for the film, but the party at Marvel undoubtedly has already begun.
Among the other wide releases of the weekend, Into The Storm came out on top with $18 million domestic opening which puts in in the third spot on the box-office charts. This disaster-themed movie was made on a budget of $50 million, which ain’t much, but nonetheless, the domestic opening is relatively meek. The movie is relying heavily on its CGI and the theme of impending doom which sort of works well in foreign markets. So the movie may eventually surprise with its total worldwide collections but we will have to check on that on a later date, for as of now it has opened in very few territories.
The Helen Mirren starrer The Hundred-Foot Journey earned $11 million over the weekend. While that is no big earner by any stretch of the imagination, it still qualifies as a fine opening considering that the movie’s production budget is only twice as much as the opening figure. The movie also has the best reviews among the four new releases, but how much that really counts for, is open to debate. If the positive reviews help the movie’s subsequent weekend drops to be lower than those of its compatriots, then possibly Disney might still make something out of this one. Else it may be spoken of in the same breath as Disney’s Million Dollar Arm which had released earlier this year, at roughly the same budget and with similar opening, and had an Indian connection too in its plot. In other words, both movies could soon be forgotten.
The latest instalment of the Step Up franchise opened to a disappointing $6.5 million in North America. This movie series has been seeing a reduction in its domestic earnings with each new instalment, and Step Up: All In marks a new low as it is the first one with a sub-$10 million opening. This franchise has been however relying heavily on the audience in the foreign markets, and that has been the prime reason why we get a new version every two years. Even this time round, the love shown abroad is much more, as the movie has already earned $38 million outside North America. Now the previous instalment had managed to cross $100 million in foreign earnings and that is the kind of benchmark which Step Up: All In would have to surpass, I feel, for a sixth instalment to take shape. Let’s see how long can this franchise dance! And a quick update on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This saga has now crossed $500 million in worldwide earnings, higher than the earnings of its predecessor. This is the least that a movie of such quality deserves!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($65.0 million)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy ($41.5 million; second weekend)
3. Into The Storm ($18.0 million)
4. The Hundred-Foot Journey ($11.1 million)
5. Lucy ($9.3 million; third weekend)