Box-Office Preview: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' to Battle 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
Romantic tearjerker 'Me Before You' and Andy Samberg's mockumentary 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping' also open.
Perplexing Hollywood studio chiefs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows could be the latest sequel to open well behind its predecessor when unfurling in theaters this weekend.
Still, the movie should wrest the box-office crown from Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse, which debuted to a solid $79.8 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, including $65.8 million for the three days. (Apocalypse did far less than Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, which launched to $110 million over Memorial Day weekend in 2014). Through Tuesday, the superhero film has earned nearly $300 million globally for Fox.
In August 2014, Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot opened to a strong $65.6 million on its way to amassing $493.2 million worldwide. Paramount believes TMNT 2 will bow in the $35 million-$40 million range domestically.
TMNT 2 also is set to make a major push overseas, where it launches in 40 markets this weekend representing 30 percent of the marketplace. The movie, sporting a $135 million production budget, sees the return of stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett, while David Green assumed directing duties. The sequel is expected to play younger than the first film, even though both are rated PG-13, and also stars Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Noel Fisher and Jeremy Howard.
Romantic tearjerker Me Before You and Andy Samberg's mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, both smaller films, also open in theaters this weekend.
Me Before You, produced by New Line and MGM for roughly $20 million, is based on the book of the same name about a young woman caring for a well-to-do man paralyzed in a tragic accident. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) stars opposite The Hunger Games' San Claflin in the female-skewing film, which is tipped to open in the low- to mid-teen millions.
From Universal, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping may not clear $5 million. The pic, starring The Lonely Island comedy trio and Saturday Night Live alums Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, cost $21 million to make. Popstar, which pokes fun at such music docs as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, follows the travails of a popular singer who resists having to reunite with his former boy band even when his career as a solo artist hits the skids.
Popstar was produced by Judd Apatow and also stars Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows and Maya Rudolph (and features plenty of cameos).