By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood August 16, 2014 at 1:31PM
The August surge was weaker yesterday, but the Top Ten, led by last weekend's leaders "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Paramount) and "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Buena Vista), managed to continue the recent improvement over last year. The Friday total came to about $38 million, up from $37 in 2013. Three new films all placed lower, looking to fall short of $20 million for the weekend.
"Ninja Turtles" edged out "Guardians" again for the top spot by about $1 million ($7.92 compared to $6.95) and should retain that lead for the full weekend. The latter topped $200 million yesterday, and still looks capable of taking the top spot for the year so far (though at the lowest total compared to other recent summer releases).
Among the openers, "Expendables 3" (Lionsgate) had the best showing, although its edge over "Let's Be Cops" (20th Century Fox) -- $5.9 to $5.6 million -- was due to Thursday night early shows for the former added to its total ("Cops" opened on Wednesday). That order will likely switch for the full weekend, which is a disappointment for the Stallone-starring action ensemble sequel which had anticipated a higher showing. The third new film, Weinstein's young adult novel adaptation "The Giver," came in fifth at about $4.7 million.
The holdovers in the rest of the Top Ten were headed by a big drop for "Into the Storm" (Warner Bros.) at just under $2.3 million (down from $6.5 million last Friday), with "The 100-Foot Journey" (Buena Vista) holding better at $2.1 (last week $3.7; this might edge out "Storm" for the full weekend). "Lucy" (Universal) at $1.6 million was next best, with for now "Hercules" (Paramount) and "Get It On" (Universal) at $580,000 and $534,000 in the remaining two spots. Either, or both, could be nudged out by "Boyhood" (IFC), still only in 771 theaters, which lagged just behind and looks to move up for the three days.