"Ninja Turtles," a reboot of a franchise born in 1980s comic
books and popularized in TV cartoons, rang up another $28.7
million in international markets for a global debut of $93.7
million, according to distributor Paramount Pictures which
wasted no time in announcing a sequel, set to open June 3, 2016.
"Guardians," which ruled the box office universe a week ago with
a record opening for August, collected $41.5 million during its
second weekend, according to estimates from research firm
Rentrak. New tornado-chasing thriller "Into the Storm" landed in
the No. 3 slot with $18 million.
Forecasters had predicted a tight race between "Guardians" and
"Ninja Turtles." But the hard-shelled reptile heroes, brought
back to TV on a Nickelodeon show in 2012, crushed expectations
for a domestic total of around $40 million.
Megan Fox stars in the film as a reporter who becomes a close
ally of the four pizza-loving turtles who emerge from the sewer
to fight criminals in New York City. The movie cost $125 million
"This exceeded all our expectations," said Megan Colligan, head
of domestic marketing and distribution at Paramount Pictures, a
unit of Viacom Inc as is Nickelodeon Movies, which together
released the film.
"Families came out in a very big way" while teenagers were drawn
to the film's incredible action sequences," said Colligan,
explaining how the film's box office performance was driven far
beyond the expected fan base of 25 to 35-year olds.
Global sales for "Guardians" reached $313 million, distributor
Walt Disney Co said. The film stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana
as galactic warriors who lead a rag-tag band of heroes including
a talking raccoon and a human-like tree.
[to top of second column]
While "Turtles" and "Guardians" have provided a late boost to summer
ticket sales, the season remains 16.5 percent behind last year's
record pace, according to Rentrak.
The weekend's No. 3 film, "Into the Storm," takes place in a
fictional Midwest town hit by the strongest tornadoes ever seen. The
movie, released by Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros., cost $50 million
Food romance "The Hundred-Foot Journey" debuted with $11.1 million
at domestic theaters, finishing fourth. The movie stars Helen Mirren
as a French restaurateur who feuds with the Indian family that takes
over the defunct restaurant across the street.
"Hundred-Foot Journey" was produced by Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks
Studios, Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films and Participant Media. Disney
distributed the film.
New music drama "Step Up All In," about an epic dance contest in Las
Vegas, earned $6.6 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian)
theaters over the weekend, taking sixth place. The movie was
released by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
(The story corrects headline to reflect 'Turtles' beats Marvel's
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud; Editing by Lynne
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