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Weekend Box Office: Turtles Tops X-Men in Battle of the Weak-Willed Sequels

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By Chris Kavan - 06/05/16 at 08:59 PM CT

In yet another underwhelming display of unoriginality, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows joins X-Men Apocalypse as being the top movie of the weekend yet still having disappointing results. It seems sequilitis is affecting the box office this month and I don't know if the summer will bring any better news. In any case, the best news of the weekend didn't belong to the top film but rather a surprisingly strong showing from Me Before You proving that female audiences are happy to drive the box office.


Last year, we witnessed the first live action TMNT film in over 20 years and the film earned a respectable $191 million domestically and with a with a worldwide total of $493 million. However, calling it a "good" film is a bit of a stretch and I think that people were wary going into this sequel. That is why Out of the Shadows may have opened on top, but, like X-Men Apocalypse, it was way down in terms of grosses. Opening at $35.3 million, the turtles sequel brought in 46% less than the first film's $65.5 million opening. Unfortunately, the sequel also cost $10 million more than the original and is looking to top off at around the $100 million. It will have to hope for decent foreign grosses to rescue it (which earned $34 million across forty markets so far). Still, if it can earn decent money across those markets we may yet see another Turtles film on the horizon - plus it scored a decent "A-" Cinemascore so maybe audiences will be able to warm up to it over the next few weeks, but that is a big question mark for now. It just goes to show that if you can't provide an interesting product the first time around, your second effort, even if better, may not save the day.


The X-Men are going to have to face the music as well, as Apocalypse dropped a hefty 66.1% in its second weekend out, bringing in $22.3 million for the weekend and a new total of $116.5 million. While the drop is big - it is right in line with previous X-Men films as First Class dropped 66.9% and Days of Future Past dipped 64% in their respective second weekends. Still, the film is looking to be one of the weakest X-Men films to date. It should finish in the $155-$165 million range finishing just above the first X-Men film for 6th out of 9th place. It is doing robust business internationally ($400 million and counting), so the news isn't all bad but domestically, it had to be seen as a disappointment, though I doubt the X-Men brand will be going away anytime soon.


Never doubt the power of women. Me Before You, which I expected to be on the lower end of the fop five, if it was lucky, did much better than expected with a third-place opening of $18.2 million. That almost topped its $20 million budget on opening weekend. And yes, women led the charge, making up 81% of the audience (53% under 35) and they awarded it a great "A" Cinemascore. Seeing as there are pretty much no romantic films on the near horizon, Me Before You should have an excellent run with a total around the $50 million mark. These films tend not to have a huge international audience, but even a small addition will make the results all the more sweeter. And I guess it helps break the curse of Game of Thrones actors choosing poorly (Pixels Peter Dinklage, Gods of Egypt Mr. Coster-Waldau? Terminator Genisys Khaleesa?) when it comes to movie roles. I will never in my life see this movie, but I wish it all the luck and hope it has a good, long run if only to make date night so much better.


If X-Men took a big tumble, it was in good company with Through the Looking Glass. The Alice in Wonderland sequel also took a big his, dropping over 60% from its uninspired opening. With just $10.6 million in its second weekend, the live-action film has a depressing $50.77 million total. It it's lucky, it will hit $75 million domestically and even with $176 million worldwide this has to be seen as, if not an outright bomb, certainly a pretty major disappointment for Disney's live action department. I don't think it will affect any future properties but I do think we have seen the last of Alice for quite awhile. I expect this to continue falling rapidly and we'll see how far it goes into this month.


Those Angry Birds aren't giving up yet. With a $9.77 million weekend (off about 48% from last week) the mobile-game turned animated movie had earned $86.6 million thus far. It is within striking distance of the $90 million Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to become the second-highest grossing video game adaptation of all time (domestic) though it is looking like it will fade before catching Tomb Raider ($131 million). Still, on the worldwide front it has made $273 million and will soon pass both Tomb Raider ($274 million) and Resident Evil: Afterlife ($296 million) and will sit only behind Prince of Persia ($336 million) as the video game king. I'm still hoping Warcraft will make its mark.

Outside the top five: Andy Samberg and the Lonely Isle may have found some love from critics, but couldn't catch a break from audiences. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping opened in 8th place with just $4.63 million - lower than the $5.3 million Hot Rod opened with back in 2007. Despite a plethora of cameos the R rating may have kept away the younger audience it was craving. This one is likely to be out in a week or two, so if you are so inclined see it now while you can.

Big news for Zootopia - Disney's animated Juggernaut crossed $1 billion worldwide - only the fourth animated film of all time to hit that mark and the second film for Disney (behind Captain America: Civil War) to do so in 2016. With Finding Dory on the way, Disney may have to $1 billion animated films in one year.

Before that, however, next week brings us the horror sequel The Conjuring 2 (which may be just as good, if not better than the original - color me hopeful), another sequel in the magic caper Now You See Me 2 and the aforementioned Warcraft - we'll see if it can outdo Angry Birds or not.


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