‘Expendables’ falls to both ‘Turtles’ and ‘Guardians’


It was a weekend for the holdovers, as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy claimed the No. 1 and 2 spots at the box office, respectively. A combination of franchise fatigue and the online availability of The Expendables 3 in pirated, albeit high-quality, form, led to the downfall of the action flick, which opened much weaker than expected. Let’s Be Cops was there to reap the benefits, bowing ahead of The Expendables and scoring one of the strongest comedy openings of the summer. The Giver performed to expectation, which is, not great, while Boyhood’s largest expansion thus far landed the well-reviewed indie in the Top 10, far ahead of fellow specialty releases Magic in the Moonlight and What If.

Turtles dropped 57 percent this weekend to earn $28.4 million. To date, the film has grossed $117.6 million domestically, or $185.1 million worldwide.

Impressive numbers by any count, though they pale in comparison with those associated with Guardians of the Galaxy. Having already surpassed Thor: The Dark World’s total, this most recent Marvel tentpole is on track to out-gross the mega successful Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which tallied out to $260 million. Guardians raked in an additional $24.7 million this weekend for a current cume of $222.3 million. Odds are, Guardians of the Galaxy will top out to $280 million or so.

The weekend’s third-place slot was filled by a surprisingly strong Let’s Be Cops. The film grossed $17.7 million, a much better debut than those enjoyed by this summer’s Blended, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and Sex Tape, all  of which had larger name stars attached. Audiences skewed male (56 percent) and a little younger (54 percent under 25). It remains to be seen how well the film will hold, but it should ride its momentum to a total in the low to mid-$50 million range.

The disappointing Expendables 3 landed at No. 4 with $16.2 million. That’s 43 percent less than the opening-weekend gross of The Expendables 2, and marks yet another dud for distributor Lionsgate, whose Step Up All In debuted to 45 percent less than its predecessor, Step Up Revolution. Unsurprisingly, audiences were older (66 percent over 25) and mostly male (61 percent). They enjoyed what they saw, awarding the film an “A-” CinemaScore grade, but given such a weak start, The Expendables 3 will likely tally out to less than $50 million.

In fifth place, The Giver grossed $12.8 million. Its debut fell within last week’s projections, however, considering the star-studded cast and reputation of the novel on which the film is based, The Giver’s opening yet feels lackluster. Total revenue will likely fall somewhere in the $30 millions.

In more uplifting news, specialty hit Boyhood cracked the weekend’s Top 10 with its $2.15 million gross from 771 theatres. It has so far earned a little under $14 million, and should make it to $20 million.

Neither Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight nor the Daniel Radcliff-starrer What If, both of which also expanded this weekend, will likely hit that benchmark. Moonlight earned a weak $1.9 million from 964 theatres, while What If grossed just $829,000 from 787 locations, earning it the unenviable distinction of third-lowest nationwide opening (behind The Rover and The Railway Man) of 2014.