Turtles beats Marvel's Guardians at box office
The return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles earned US$65 million(S$81.4 million) in ticket sales at US and Canadian movie theaters over the weekend, easily winning a box office battle with Marvel's outer space hit Guardians of the Galaxy.
Ninja Turtles, rang up another US$28.7 million(S$34 million) in international markets for a global debut of US$93.7 million(S$117 million), according to distributor Paramount Pictures which wasted no time in announcing a sequel, set to open June 3, 2016.
Guardians, which ruled the box office universe a week ago with a record opening for August, collected US$41.5 million(S$52 million) during its second weekend, according to estimates from research firm Rentrak.
Forecasters had predicted a tight race between Guardians and Ninja Turtles. But the hard-shelled reptile heroes, brought back to TV on a Nickelodeon show in 2012, crushed expectations for a domestic total of around US$40 million(S$50 million).
Cinema Still : Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starring Will Arnett (left) and Megan Fox. Photo: UIP
Guardians Of The Galaxy cinema still. Photo: Walt Disney Pictures
Megan Fox stars in the film as a reporter who becomes a close ally of the four pizza-loving turtles who emerged from the sewers to fight criminals in New York City. The movie cost US$125 million(S$156 million) to make.
"This exceeded all our expectations," said Megan Colligan, head of domestic marketing and distribution at Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc as is Nickelodeon Movies, which together released the film.
"Families came out in a very big way while teenagers were drawn to the film's incredible action sequences," said Colligan, explaining how the film's box office performance was driven far beyond the expected fan base of 25 to 35-year olds.
Global sales for Guardians reached US$313 million(S$392 million), distributor Walt Disney Co said.
The film stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana as galactic warriors who lead a rag-tag band of heroes including a talking raccoon and a human-like tree.
While Turtles and Guardians have provided a late boost to summer ticket sales, the season remains 16.5 percent behind last year's record pace, according to Rentrak. - Reuters