Box Office Preview: ‘Ninja Turtles 2’ Set for a Little Turtle Power

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (2016) - Box Office Preview

‘Ninja Turtles’ May Not Repeat 2014 Reboot’s Success

Two years after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles relaunch surpassed expectations, the pizza-loving turtles return for a second this weekend in Out of the Shadows.

In the Nickelodeon-produced sequel, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael are back fighting crime in New York. Though the evil Shredder (Brian Tee) has been captured, the extraterrestrial villain Krang (Brad Garrett) has launched an attack on the Big Apple. In addition to Krang, Out of the Shadows also adds cartoon favorites such as the vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell, Arrow), mutants Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE’s Sheamus) and evil scientist Baxter Stockmann (Tyler Perry).

The 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film debuted over $65 million, coming off the heels of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. While another breakout run would be help solidify the franchise, expect Out of the Shadows to underperform like countless other sequels from this year. We could be looking at yet another Neighbors 2, Allegiant or X-Men: Apocalypse on our hands.

While Ninja Turtles’ current 37% score on Rotten Tomatoes is slightly higher than the last film’s 22%, this remains one of the lowest this summer so far. Here on We Live Entertainment, Turtles has received average reviews as Scott Menzel refered to the film as a “mixed bag of turtle soup.” Ashley Menzel stated “Out of the Shadows is definitely an improvement over its predecessor.”

The Ninja Turtles sequel opened on Thursday night in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D engagements, starting at 5 p.m., which is earlier than the standard 7 p.m. standard time. On Friday, Out of the Shadows will release in 4071 theaters. While the film is expected to click more with die-hard fans, the sequel will only pull in about $30 million by the end of the weekend.

Going against the turtles this weekend is romantic drama, Me Before You. Starring Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin, Me Before You is based on the 2012 Jojo Moyes novel where Clarke’s character forms a bond with Claflin’s who’s paralyzed.

"Me Before You" (2016) - Box Office Preview

Me Before You has been receiving mixed reviews, currently standing at a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ashley Menzel recommends the film, stating in her review the film “will have you smiling and sobbing each time.”

Preview engagements for Me Before You began on Thursday night at 7 p.m before expanding Friday in 2704 theaters. As a romantic alternative to the more popular Ninja Turtles, Me Before You will debut around $14 million this weekend. That should put in the company of other romantic dramas such as If I Stay and The Age of Adaline.

Last up this week is Universal’s mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Popping is the last new wide release of the weekend. As Conner4Real, Andy Samberg pokes fun at Justin Bieber and the lifestyle of being failed boy band member. Popstar is the most critically-acclaimed new release, but isn’t projected to crack the top charts this weekend. Opening in 2311 theaters, Popstar may have to settle for $7 million this weekend.

Box Office Projections

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Paramount) – $30.1 million (NR)

2. X-Men: Apocalypse (Fox) – $24.3 million (1)

3. Me Before You (Warner Bros.) – $14.2 million (NR)

4. Alice Through the Looking Glass (Buena Vista) – $11.2 millon (2)

5. The Angry Birds Movie (Sony) – $9.6 million (3)

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