Box Office: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' Wins Friday for So-So $35M Weekend

The turtles are having no trouble beating holdover 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' but trail the first 'TMNT'; romantic tearjerker 'Me Before You' is off to a solid start, while 'Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping' fails to pop.

Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is easily winning the North American box-office race even as it does far less business than the 2014 reboot, becoming the latest Hollywood studio sequel to struggle.

The family friendly film topped the Friday chart with $12.5 million from 3,701 theaters for a projected weekend opening of $35 million-plus. In August 2014, the first installment in the revitalized TMNT franchise earned $65.6 million on its way to grossing $493.2 million worldwide.

The good news — the sequel earned an A- CinemaScore and did better than expected Friday night. The Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies film cost $135 million to make, and was produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes. Paramount believes the male-driven movie will play younger than the 2014 film, although both sport a PG-13.

TMNT 2, which sees the return of stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett, is making a major push overseas, where it launches in 40 markets this weekend, representing 40 percent of the marketplace. The movie opens in China on July 2. David Green directs the sequel, which also stars Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Noel Fisher and Jeremy Howard.

X-Men: Apocalypse is falling to No. 2 in its second weekend, earning $6.6 million Friday from 4,153 theaters for an estimated $22.3 million weekend, a decline of 66 percent. Worldwide, the Fox superhero tentpole has jumped the $300 million mark.

New Line and MGM's romantic tearjerker Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) opposite The Hunger Games' San Claflin, also opens this weekend. The film, with a production budget of $21 million, is doing pleasing business for a projected $18 million-$19 million debut from 2,704 locations after grossing $7.8 million on Friday, putting it at No. 3 after TMNT 2 and Apocalypse.

Me Before You is an adaptation of Jojo Moyes' novel about a young woman caring for a man who was paralyzed in a tragic accident. The film, fueled by younger women, nabbed an A CinemaScore. More than 72 of Friday's ticket buyers were under the age of 35, while 81 percent of the audience was female.

The weekend's other new nationwide player is mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, starring Andy Samberg as a Justin Bieber-like popstar who lives a ridiculous lifestyle while trying to build a solo career after headlining a popular boy band. The $21 million film, from Universal, came in No. 8 Friday with a meek $1.8 million from 2,311 theaters for a projected $4.6 million debut.

Written by The Lonely Island comedy trio Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, Popstar was directed by Schaffer and Taccone, who also star alongside Samberg. The rest of the cast includes Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Imogen Poots.

Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass continues to struggle in its second weekend, coming in No. 4 Friday with $3.2 million from 3,763 locations for an expected $10.5 million weekend, putting its domestic total at $50 million through Sunday. (The movie hit theaters just as star Johnny Depp was accused of allegedly assaulting his wife, Amber Heard, who is seeking to end their 15-month marriage.)

Animated family film Angry Birds: The Movie rounded out the top five, earning $2.6 million on its third Friday from 3,484 theaters for a projected $10 million weekend. The Sony and Rovio release is crossing the $300 million mark globally, and should finish Sunday with a domestic total in the $86 million range.

At the foreign box office, Me Before You is rolling out in its first 16 markets, earning $3.4 million in its first three days, including a first-place Friday finish in the U.K. with $970,000.

Legendary and Universal's big-budget video game adaptation Warcraft continues its international expansion, opening in another eight markets. The tentpole is pacing to gross $29 million for the weekend from 28 territories for an early foreign total of $69.1 million. While Warcraft is prospering in some countries, such as Russia and Germany, its chances are iffy in the U.S., where it opens June 10.

June 3, 1 p.m. Updated.

June 4, 7:30 a.m. Updated.

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