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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN: August 15-17, 2014

~Matt Reed

Three new films opened this week but none was able to unseat TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURLES, which remained at #1 with an estimated $28.4 mil haul.  It did drop precipitously, losing nearly 57% of its audience week-to-week, but that’s on par with the average frontloaded releases this summer.  With a budget of $125 mil and having also added $67.5 mil internationally so far, TMNT is a nice earner for Paramount.

GotG remained in second place.  It crossed the $200 mil mark domestically and has surpassed GODZILLA, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and ASM2 to take sixth place for the year.  With just $38 mil it will surpass CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER as the #1 film of the year.  Wonder what the Vegas odds of that happening were when Marvel announced it as part of their Phase 2 films?

As for the new releases, LET’S BE COPS was the most impressive.  $17.7 mil over three days and $26.1 mil total since its Wednesday opening.  Modestly budgeted at $17 mil and starring less than bankable leads, it has to be considered a success.  The same can’t be said for THE EXPENDABLES 3.  Considering it has a host of big names that were at one time A-list stars, it opened to just $16.2 mil. That’s $12.3 mil less than THE EXPENDABLES 2 opened with in 2012 and $18 mil less than the original in 2010.  The franchise has also increasingly gone up in price.  The original cost $80 mil and the second cost $100 mil.  At the end of the day THE EXPENDABLES 3 is going to struggle to make $65 mil on the domestic front.  The silver lining is that the franchise does well abroad.  The first two films grossed a total of $391.8 mil internationally.  It’ll be interesting to see if that’s enough to greenlight a fourth film considering it’s declining popularity in the States.

THE GIVER disappointed as well, earning just $12.7 mil this weekend.  Big names like Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep couldn’t counteract poor reviews and a tepid response by fans of the YA novel upon which it’s based.  With the exception of this year’s DIVERGENT and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (and I’m sure November’s HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY Part 1), the YA adaptation genre has hit a bumpy road.  BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, I AM NUMBER FOUR, THE MORTAL INSTUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, ENDER’S GAME, VAMPIRE ACADEMY and WARM BODIES, all potential franchise starters, have fizzled in recent years. HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES don’t come around as often as the studios would certainly like.

Up Next: FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR, the drama IF I STAY and the football drama WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL.

Here, as always, are the weekend domestic estimates courtesy of our friends at boxofficemojo.com:

box office