By Jim Amos | Box Office Insider August 7, 2014 at 1:55PM
Raccoons battling turtles sounds like "When Nature Attacks" on the Discovery Channel but no, it's what should be a very interesting weekend at the box office. I'd bet the ranch on raccoons in a real life fight and I'm guessing the same will happen on the big screen as well as very strong word-of-mouth for "Guardians of the Galaxy" should enable it to hold off Megan Fox and her reptilian friends. Midweeks have been outstanding on "Guardians" ($11+ million Monday night and almost $12 million Tuesday night) and social media buzz is still through the roof.
As for TMNT, I was on the low end of projections on Monday so I have indeed raised my weekend forecast, taking into account tracking and Twitter/Facebook buzz, but ultimately I think the film will fall a bit lower than most industry forecasters and land around $40 million. Nostalgia helped "Guardians" last week (70's soundtrack, Walkman references et al) but do moms and dads who grew up in the 80's remember the franchise so fondly and will they take the young'ens to this?
Let's look at how the weekend will play out
1) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY---BUENA VISTA/MARVEL---$45.2 MILLION
As mentioned above, word-of-mouth is exceptional and the second weekend may receive an infusion of moviegoers who can't remember the last time they went to a Marvel superhero movie. Look for a drop of 52%
2) TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES---PARAMOUNT---$40 MILLION
A significant increase from my Monday projection but "Guardians"' strength in the marketplace will have a direct effect on it going any higher than this.
3) INTO THE STORM---WARNER BROTHERS---$14 MIL
Again, I'm on the low side of projections. I had this at $14 mil on Monday and I'm sticking to it. There's too much in the marketplace for this demographic.
4) THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY---BUENA VISTA---$9 MILLION
Down $1 mil from my Monday prediction as reviews have been tepid, With both "Boyhood" and "A Most Wanted Man" still going strong and "Get On Up" also drawing the mobility chair crowd, it isn't as if the adult-appeal section of the marketplace is barren.
5) LUCY---UNIVERSAL---$8.4 MILLION
As expected, the film is opening huge overseas (it was Luc Besson's highest debut ever in his native France) but on these shores the competition may be too much, even for a jacked-up Scarlet Johansson. Down 54%
6) STEP UP: ALL IN---LIONSGATE---$8 MILLION
Sticking with my Monday estimate of $8 million. Each successive outing of the franchise has been less than the previous and the last "Step Up" opened to $11 million.
7) GET ON UP---UNIVERSAL---$7.9 MILLION
Despite favorable reviews there has been very little positive word-of-mouth so figure the James Brown biopic loses its funk to the tune of 42% this weekend.
8) DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES---FOX---$4.5 MILLION
#'s 8 & 9 can be interchangeable but here's thinking that the Apes watch The Rock tumble past them and slip into 8th. Down 48%
9) HERCULES---PARAMOUNT---$4.4 MILLION
Down 60%. I saw this last Friday. I was always taught if you can't say something nice don't say anything. Therefore........................
10) PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE---$3.1 MILLION
Steep drop of 49% due to the young-skewing TMNT.
BUBBLING JUST UNDER THE TOP 10
BOYHOOD---IFC--Increasing their location count to 500 this week. Look for a gross in the $2.7-$3.0 million range
A MOST WANTED MAN--RSA--Keeps hanging in there but the TV spots, which were so prevalent last week, have been cut way back. $2.5-$3.0 mil?