‘Ninja Turtles’ sequel off to a disappointing start
LOS ANGELES - Turtle power isn’t all that strong the second time around, according to comScore estimates Sunday, but not all is bleak at the box office. While many of the season’s sequels continue to struggle, the healthy debut of the romantic drama “Me Before You” proved that there is room for more than superheroes in the summer.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” won the box office, but its estimated $35.3 million debut is not exactly cause for a celebratory pizza party. The $135 million production from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies comes just two years after the studios rebooted the property. The 2014 movie performed surprisingly well - opening to $65.6 million and going on to gross $493.3 million worldwide - despite lackluster reviews.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2” is just the latest in a string of underwhelming openings for sequels this summer movie season, which runs from the first weekend in May through Labor Day. Some of the lackluster showings include “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” and even “X-Men: Apocalypse,” which fell a hefty 66 percent in its second weekend in theaters, earning $22.3 million for a second-place finish.
“When we’ve had this many sequels in a row not performing well in an industry where sequels are king, that’s disconcerting,” said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore’s senior media analyst. “What people want is good movies. If they truly deliver, I don’t think there’s a stigma against sequels.”
In a marketplace saturated with sequels, the romantic tearjerker “Me Before You” stood out from the pack and performed quite well because of it, earning $18.3 million for a third-place finish. The film, based on Jojo Moyes’ best-selling novel, has gotten mixed reviews from critics, but audiences, who were 81 percent female and 53 percent over the age of 35, gave the film a solid A CinemaScore.
While things have slowed down at the box office since the summer kicked off so strongly with “Captain America: Civil War” in early May, the year is still up some 5 percent. Dergarabedian thinks that things will get back on track soon, especially with more promising sequels like “The Conjuring 2,” “Finding Dory,” and “Jason Bourne” on the horizon.