‘Ninja Turtles’ kick ‘Guardians’ off U.S. top spotThe return of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” earned $65 million in ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian movie theaters over the weekend, easily winning a box office battle with Marvel’s outer space hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“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.
“This exceeded all our expectations,” said Megan Colligan, head of domestic marketing and distribution at Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom as is Nickelodeon Movies, which together released the film.
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’s Warner Bros., cost $50 million to make.
Food romance “The Hundred-Foot Journey” debuted with $11.1 million at domestic theaters, finishing fourth.