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Box office report: TMNT 2 quietly takes No. 1 with $35 million as X-Men crashes

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After a weekend battle that pitted mutants against mutants, the reptilian crew of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows quietly overthrew the reigning champion to take the No. 1 spot at the North American box office, knocking X-Men: Apocalypse to No. 2.

Out of the Shadows’ estimated $35.3 million domestic weekend bow from 4,071 theaters comes in $30 million shy of its predecessor’s opening gross, aligning the film with the likes of Zoolander 2, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising as high-profile cinematic continuations that have underperformed in the wake of their forerunners.

With a hefty $135 million budget, TMNT 2 will likely rely on its foreign grosses to recoup its budget, which thus far stands at $34 million as the film occupies 40 percent of its planned international footprint, with planned openings in major territories, including China on July 2, on deck. The film is, however, performing better with audiences (decent A- grade on CinemaScore as opposed to the first film’s ho-hum B) than anticipated, which could mean it holds on stronger than expected against upcoming action-epic Warcraft, which is widely expected to disappoint at the domestic box office next weekend. 

As for Apocalypse, the film followed in the footsteps of its X-Men movie brethren as it plummeted 66 percent to an estimated $22.3 million over its sophomore frame. Its domestic total now hovers around $116.5 million, just above the $110 million X-Men: Days of Future Past pulled in over its 4-day opening weekend in 2014. The most a movie in the franchise has ever fallen from first week to second week is 69 percent, as X-Men Origins: Wolverine took a nose dive from $85 million to $26.4 million in May 2009. Apocalypse has, however, accumulated a solid worldwide total of over $400 million thus far.

Exceeding expectations at No. 3, Warner Bros.’ Me Before You capitalized on a barren romantic comedy market with an estimated $18.3 million from 2,704 locations. Based on a best-selling novel by Jojo Moyes with a promising A grade on CinemaScore, Me Before You looks to cruise through the early summer season on strong word of mouth as the only romantic film entering wide release for the foreseeable future. 

Finishing last among the week’s new wide releases, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping pulled in an estimated $4.6 million, coming in slightly below modest expectations at No. 8. The Andy Samberg-fronted comedy sees the former Saturday Night Live cast member and his Lonely Island band members (Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer) lampooning the music industry with a critically well-received, Judd Apatow-produced mockumentary featuring appearances by P!nk, Sarah Silverman, and more. Though the video shorts The Lonely Island performed on SNL often stuck their landing with audiences, a disappointing B grade on CinemaScore for Popstar seemingly indicates general audiences were not ready to dive into a feature-length treatment. With a relatively inexpensive budget of $21 million, Popstar could find its legs (and its money) beyond the theatrical realm as a cult hit when it’s finally released to retailers. 

June 3-5 weekend box office estimates: 

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – $35.3 million 

2. X-Men: Apocalypse – $22.3 million 

3. Me Before You – $18.3 million 

4. Alice Through the Looking Glass – $10.7 million 

5. The Angry Birds Movie – $9.8 million 

6. Captain America: Civil War – $7.6 million 

7. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – $4.7 million 

8. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – $4.6 million 

9. The Jungle Book – $4.2 million 

10. The Nice Guys – $3.5 million 

Outside the top 10, following a solid haul in limited release, A24’s The Lobster added 444 theaters this weekend and grossed another $1.55 million, bringing its North American total to an estimated $3.6 million. Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship dipped a mere 11 percent as it expanded to 819 theaters, crossing the $7 million mark as it becomes Chloë Sevigny’s highest-grossing theatrical release since 2007’s Zodiac

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