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411 Box Office Report: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shreds Expectations, Opens at #1
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 08.10.2014

For the second week in a row, the big opener at the box office massively defied expectations and opened far higher than expected. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took the #1 spot with $65 million, opening way above the $40 million to $45 million that the industry was expecting it to do. The film survived withering reviews and brought in the 24 - 35 demographic, who gave in to curiosity about how one of their beloved 1980s franchises had been treated. The film scored a B CinemaScore from viewers, which will neither help nor hurt its continued box office success.

While the film didn't do Transformers sequel-level numbers, it did perform favorably when stacked up against most 1980s cartoon adaptations. The film topped out the opening weekends of the two G.I. Joe films ($54.7 million and $40.5 million) and came close to the $70.5 million opening of the first Transformers. It's important to note, however, that Transformers opened on a Tuesday and had a lot of burn-off before its first weekend, so don't expect the turtles to get anyway remotely close to that film's $300 million number. A final; domestic number somewhere above the two G.I. Joe films is likely, likely between $150 million and $175 mllion. The movie added $28.7 million overseas for a worldwide first weekend of $93.7 million. The budget was $125 million.

While it didn't get to repeat at #1, Guardians of the Galaxy still held on strong with $41.5 million in its second weekend for the #2 spot. The film had a 56% fall which is right about in line with the Phase Two Marvel films--Iron Man 3 dropped 58% while Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier both fell 57%. Guardians likely would have fallen less if not for Turtles' overperformance. The space epic has a two-week total of $175.9 million domestically and $313.2 million worldwide from a $170 million budget. It should finish with around Winter Soldier's $260 million domestic total when it's complete.

Into the Storm performed slightly above expectations for its opening weekend, pulling in $18 million for the #3 spot. Most industry analysts were expecting a low-to-mid teens level, so Warner Bros. has to be pleased with this number. It's the latest film to prove that you don't need huge stars as long as you have a huge special effect top draw people in, and despite poor reviews it surpassed recent found footage efforts like Earth to Echo ($8.4 million) and Devil's Due ($8.3 million), not to mention disaster pic Pompeii ($10.3 million) from back in February. The film also hit a B CinemaScore, which won't do anything for or against its performance in successive weeks. The film's budget was $50 million and despite its solid opening weekend it may have trouble hitting that number considering the unusually strong August slate and the typical drop-off for both of its genres.

Counter-programming took The Hundred-Foot Journey to a good opening weekend. The culinary drama opened at #4 with $11.1 million, a little above Disney's expectations for the film. While the critical appreciation was mild at best, Helen Mirren remains a reliable box office draw and the marketing gave the film sort of a Wes Anderson vibe combined with foodie appeal. Audiences who saw it loved it and the A CinemaScore should mean good things for its box office legs; this one will be a hit considering not only the $22 million budget, but Mirren's overseas appeal. A final domestic gross of $35 million to $40 million is definitely within reach.

Scarlett Johansson's Lucy continued to perform well, dropping three spots to #5 with $9.3 million. The Luc Besson-directed sci-fi film is surpassing expectations, a sign of Johansson's appeal, and in three weeks has totaled $97.4 million domestically and $112.4 million worldwide. That makes this the highest-grossing film that Johansson has starred in on her own, and the highest of Luc Besson's directing career. It should be able to top the $120 million mark domestically; its budget is $40 million.

Step Up All In was the one new movie to underperform this weekend, as audiences passed it by to satisfy their blockbuster cravings. The fifth film in the biennial dance franchise finished at #6 with just $6.6 million. Industry predictions had it as high as $10 million, so this is definitely a sign of dance film fatigue setting in hard. Ironically, the film is one of the best-reviewed of the franchise--although that's a relative term, as it scored 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences liked it well enough with a B+ CinemaScore but this one could have trouble even hitting $20 million domestically. Don't cry for it though; first of all, the budget was likely low and second, it's already rung up $37.7 million overseas for a $44.3 million worldwide total thus far.

Hercules softened its fall for its third weekend. The Rock's period epic was down three to #7 with $5.7 million, a 48% fall. The film is proving to be a bigger hit overseas as than it is in the states to few people's surprise; it's totaled $63.5 million domestically and $136 million worldwide from a $100 million budget. $75 million seems to be its final domestic target.

The James Brown biopic Get On Up got on down in its second weekend, falling five spots to #8 with just $5 million. Audiences just weren't interested in this one over the weekend and it dropped a painful 63%. That's far above the 42% that Jersey Boys fell in June and the 32% fall of Ray in 2004. Positive reviews didn't help this one, nor did the CinemaScore which suggests that it was simply a film with very limited appeal based on Universal's marketing of it. The film has totaled $22.9 million from a $30 million budget and should finish up now with maybe $35 million domestically.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was down four spots to #9 in its fifth weekend with $4.4 million. The film has now hit $197.8 million domestically and $503.9 million worldwide, with a likely final domestic gross of around $210 million. The budget was $170 million.

Planes: Fire & Rescue was also down four spots, finishing at #10 in its fourth weekend with $2.4 million. The film has pulled in $53 million stateside and $90.5 million worldwide. The film should finish up with around $60 million domestically from a $50 million budget.

The weekend box office tally saw another solid rise this weekend, scoring $183.8 million. That's up 15% from last year's $159.3 million, which was led by Elysium's $29.8 million opening and We're the Millers' $26.4 million start. The improvement is another welcome sign to Hollywood that this August is mitigating some of the box office failure of the summer.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates. A studio recoups 55% of a film's grosses on average, meaning it needs to approximately double its budget to be profitable during its theatrical run.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Numbers)
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - $65 million ($65 million total)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy - $41.5 million ($175.9 million total)
3. Into The Storm - $18 million ($18 million total)
4. The Hundred-Foot Journey - $11.1 million ($11.1 million total)
5. Lucy - $9.3 million ($97.4 million total)
6. Step Up All In - $6.6 million ($6.6 million total)
7. Hercules - $5.7 million ($63.5 million total)
8. Get On Up - $5 million ($22.9 million total)
9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - $4.4 million ($197.8 million total)
10. Planes: Fire & Rescue - $2.4 million ($53 million total)


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