NEW YORK • A meaty set of ninja turtles turned in thin results at the weekend box office, increasing the pressure on a struggling Paramount Pictures to find new hits.
Costing about US$135 million (S$184 million) to make and at least another US$100 million to market worldwide, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows took in an estimated US$35.3 million at North American theatres, according to comScore, which compiles box office data. The film's franchise predecessor, riding a wave of nostalgia for 1990s-era entertainment, collected US$65.6 million over its first three days in August 2014.
Sequels are expected to deliver stable returns, but audiences seem to be more selective. This year Zoolander 2, The Huntsman: Winter's War, Bad Neighbours 2, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Barbershop: The Next Cut and Alice Through The Looking Glass have disappointed or flopped outright.
Paramount contended that Out Of The Shadows delivered initial global results (US$34 million) on a par with ticket sales for the 2014 instalment, after adjusting for school holidays and exchange rates.
The studio said it hoped positive word-of-mouth would help Out Of The Shadows in the weeks ahead in the United States, where audiences gave it an A-minus in CinemaScore exit polls, an improvement from the previous film.
For the weekend, X-Men: Apocalypse (20th Century Fox) took in about US$22.3 million in second place, for a worldwide total of US$402.5 million. Romantic drama Me Before You (Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer and New Line) did a bit better than expected, taking in about US$18.3 million.
The weekend's only other new wide release, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Universal), a US$21 million comedy starring Andy Samberg, was dead on arrival, taking in about US$4.6 million.
NEW YORK TIMES