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Friday Box Office: 'Mutant Ninja Turtles' Upends Marvel's 'Guardians' in Surprising August Upset

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood August 9, 2014 at 1:17PM

An unexpected pre-back-to-school surge in box office led to a much stronger than expected showing for Paramount's reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," winning the day's top gross of $25.6 million.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

An unexpected pre-back-to-school surge in box office led to a much stronger than expected showing for Paramount's reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," winning the day's top gross of $25.6 million. This denies "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Buena Vista) a repeat victory by some distance, with $12.3 million (although the margin for the full weekend is likely closer).

This reinforces last weekend's message that August, often the repository of projects that studios don't think deserve placement in the traditionally stronger early summer months, can actually thrive as a release date. And it continues the month's rebound after the severe falloff earlier this season. The top ten grossed just under $60 million, compared to $48 million last year, during "Elysium" days. Both the top two films took in more than the Matt Damon/Jodie Foster sci-fi film did on opening weekend.

Three other films opened wide to varying degrees of interest. Both "Into the Storm" (Warner Bros.) in third place with $6.5 million and "The Hundred-Foot Journey" (Buena Vista) at $3.65 million in fourth came in somewhat ahead of expectations. The latter, with its A Cinemascore and older-audience bent, might actually settle in for a solid long term run ahead for this relatively inexpensive ($22 million) effort from Lasse Hallstrom starring Helen Mirren. Lionsgate's "Step Up All In" lagged in the fifth spot with $2.8 million.

Holdover made up the rest of the top ten, with "Lucy" (Universal) $2.8 million, "Hercules" (Paramount) $1.7 million, "Get On Up" (Universal) $1.5 million, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (20th Century Fox) $1.24 million and "The Purge: Anarchy" (Universal) in order taking the sixth through tenth spots.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, Box Office


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.