Box-Office Preview: 'TMNT' Set to Battle 'Guardians of the Galaxy' for No. 1

It's turtles versus a cadre of unlikely galactic heroes at the North American box office this weekend as a live-action version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles battles holdover Guardians of the Galaxy for the No. 1 spot.

Tracking services show TMNT, from Paramount, Nickelodeon Movies and producer Michael Bay, opening in the $40 million to $45 million range. In its second weekend, Guardians has a shot at the same.

Guardians should prove tough competition for TMNT after debuting to $94.3 million last weekend and enjoying record-breaking weekday numbers. Through Wednesday, the Marvel Studios and Disney tentpole has grossed nearly $130 million domestically, pushing its worldwide haul north of $200 million in less than a week.

TMNT, costing $125 million to make, is tracking strong among families despite being rated PG-13 and hopes to benefit from a new TMNT television show.

Directed by Jonathan Liebsman, TMNT stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Danny Woodburn, Abby Elliott, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson and Minae Noji. It's based on the characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

In the film, four outcast brothers rise from the sewer and discovery their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when working with a fearless reporter (Fox) to save New York City from Shredder and his evil Foot Clan.

TMNT opens day-and-date in 17 international markets.

Also looking to get in on the action this weekend is New Line and Warner Bros.' Into the Storm, a found-footage tornado movie directed by Steven Quale. It opens nearly 20 years after Twister turned into a box-office hit (that film was also from Warner Bros.).

Lacking any big stars, but boasting plenty of tornadoes, Into the Storm is tracking to the open in the $17 million-plus range. The movie cost under $50 million to make.

Going after adults is DreamWorks and Participant Media's dramedy The Hundred-Foot Journey, about dueling French and Indian chefs owning restaurants across the street from each other in a small French town. The $22 million film, based on the book by Richard C. Morais, has plenty of pedigree behind and in front of the camera, with Lasse Hallstrom directing and Helen Mirren starring.

The cast also includes Om Puri, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon.

Hundred-Foot Journey hopes to whip up the same interest shown for Jon Favreau's indie comedy Chef this summer and is tracking to open in the $10 million range. The movie has received middling reviews, but has a potent marketing ally in producer Oprah Winfrey.

The weekend's fourth new nationwide entry is Summit's Step Up All In, the fifth installment in the dance franchise. The movie is expected to open in the $8 million range domestically, but has already amassed nearly $30 million overseas, where it rolled out early in 26 markets.

Trish Sie directed Step Up All In, which stars Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Misha Gabriel, Izabella Miko, Alyson Stoner and Adam Sevani.

New openers at the specialty box office include romance comedy What If, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver. CBS Films is launching the title in 20 theaters in select top markets.

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