By Daniel Garris
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles broke out in a big way this weekend with a stronger than expected first place take of $65.58 million. It had been widely expected that Paramount's high-profile franchise re-launch would find itself in a close battle with Guardians of the Galaxy for first place this weekend, but it ultimately won this weekend's box office race with absolutely ease. Following in the footsteps of Guardians of the Galaxy last weekend, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marks another high-profile surprise break-out performance. The strong performances of the two films were much needed after the relatively weak month of July at the box office.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opened a massive 170 percent stronger than the $24.26 million debut of 2007's TMNT and has already out-grossed the $54.15 million final domestic gross of that film. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles delivered the fourth largest opening weekend performance ever in the month of August (behind only Guardians of the Galaxy, 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum and 2001's Rush Hour 2). The film took in $25.60 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.6 million from evening shows on Thursday), fell 13 percent on Saturday to gross $22.16 million and declined 20 percent on Sunday to gross $17.81 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.56 to 1.
The audience breakdown for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles skewed towards male moviegoers (61 percent) and moviegoers 25 years and older (55 percent). The film received a so-so B rating on CinemaScore.
Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy placed in a strong second with $42.12 million. The blockbuster sci-fi superhero adaptation was down 55 percent from last weekend's break-out debut. That represented a very solid second weekend hold for a film of this size, especially given the stronger than expected launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Guardians of the Galaxy has grossed an exceptional $176.52 million through ten days of release. That places the film an impressive 11 percent ahead of the $158.88 million ten-day take of Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year (which fell 57 percent to gross $41.27 million during its second weekend of release). With its current percentage lead over Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the aid of strong word of mouth, Guardians of the Galaxy has a very strong chance at this point of eventually out-grossing The Winter Soldier to become the highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically.
Warner's Into the Storm opened in third with $17.35 million. The modestly budgeted disaster film debuted in line with its modest pre-release expectations and performed respectably given the combined performances of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy. The film opened 68 percent stronger than the $10.34 million launch of fellow disaster film Pompeii earlier this year.
Into the Storm grossed $6.53 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.8 million from evening shows on Thursday), decreased a slim 1 percent on Saturday to gross $6.44 million and fell 32 percent on Sunday to gross $4.38 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.66 to 1. The audience breakdown for Into the Storm skewed towards female moviegoers (58 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (71 percent). Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Into the Storm also received a so-so B rating on CinemaScore.
The Hundred-Foot Journey also opened in line with its modest expectations this weekend with a fourth place debut of $10.98 million. The modestly budgeted drama from Disney and DreamWorks served as counter-programing to all of the fan-driven event films currently in the marketplace. The Hundred-Foot Journey opened slightly ahead of the $10.52 million start of Million Dollar Arm earlier this year.
The Hundred-Foot Journey opened with $3.66 million on Friday, increased 17.5 percent on Saturday to gross $4.30 million and fell 30 percent on Sunday to gross $3.01 million. That gave the film an encouraging opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.998 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (59 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers 26 years and older (87 percent). The Hundred-Foot Journey received a strong A rating on CinemaScore and will hope to hold up well throughout the month of August, in part from continuing the serve as counter-programming to the month's current and upcoming fan-driven releases.
Universal's Lucy rounded out the weekend's top five with $9.49 million. The modestly budgeted sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson was down 48 percent from last weekend. While the film's holding power thus far hasn't been the greatest, Lucy continues to exceed expectations and is now on the verge of reaching the $100 million domestic milestone with a 17-day take of $97.51 million.
Lionsgate's Step Up All In was off to a disappointing sixth place start with just $6.47 million. The fifth installment of the dance film franchise debuted below its already modest expectations and a disappointing 45 percent below the $11.73 million debut of 2012's Step Up Revolution. Step Up All In received a B+ rating on CinemaScore. It should be noted that the film is performing significantly stronger overseas than it is domestically.