'TMNT' comes out of shell with $24.5 mil


With six wide releases bowing at the North American boxoffice, only a few survived the heavy competition. The winner of the frame was Warner Bros. Pictures' "TMNT," the CG-animated reimagination of the 14-year-old franchise. Opening to $24.5 million, the PG-rated flick knocked "300" off its top spot for the first time in three weeks.

Not since 2001 has Warner Bros. dominated the one-two spots at the boxoffice. This weekend though, the studio's juggernaut "300" held on strong, falling only 40% and one spot in the boxoffice derby to $19.8 million. The R-rated, special effects-laden epic adventure from director Zack Snyder has grossed more than $161 million in just over 17 days of release.

Paramount Pictures bowed the Mark Wahlberg starrer "Shooter" to $14.5 million. From director Antoine Fuqua, the R-rated assassin film was one of Wahlberg's lowest openers in recent years, likely handicapped by the heavy male interest in both "TMNT" and "300."

Buena Vista Pictures' "Wild Hogs" still continues to perform. The middle-aged road-trip comedy starring Tim Allen and John Travolta fell a scant 27% its fourth week in release. The film has now grossed $123 million since it bowed March 2.

New Line Cinema's "The Last Mimzy" opened in the fifth spot at the boxoffice. The family film directed by New Line head honcho Bob Shaye debuted to $10 million. In the sixth spot was Fox Atomic's "The Hills Have Eyes 2." The R-rated horror film written by Wes Craven and his son Jonathan opened to $9.6 million, far beneath 2006's original "Hills" remake, which opened to $15.7 million.

Sony Pictures' "Reign Over Me" opened to $7.4 million. The R-rated drama starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle is a soft bow for the Mike Binder-directed film, but the studio is hoping strong word-of-mouth will keep the movie in theaters.

Lionsgate's "Pride" opened even softer than originally projected. The inspirational story of African-American swim coach Jim Ellis, starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac, took in only $3.5 million for a paltry per-screen average of $2,327.

All of the new releases were positively reviewed by audiences. "Mimzy" scored a B+ with audiences, who attended primarily for the subject matter. "Pride" was also a big hit, earning an A- from an audience made up evenly of men and women. "Reign Over Me" scored with audiences. The drama earned an A- according to pollster CinemaScore. The audience, comprised primarily of women, were attracted to Sandler's character and the subject matter.

"Shooter" garnered a B+ from audiences. Attended primarily by men, the film drew in audiences interested in Wahlberg's character and the subject matter. "TMNT" was also a big hit with moviegoers. Directed by Kevin Munroe, the movie was attended primarily by the under-25 crowd, but 36% of the over-25 audience showed up to see the CG'd turtles.

In limited release, Magnolia bowed "Color Me Kubrick" on 19 screens to $37,201. The R-rated film starring John Malkovich generated a weak per-screen average of $1,957. Yari Film Group opened "First Snow," starring Guy Pearce and Piper Perabo, in three theaters to $15,189. The Mark Fergus-directed feature generated a per-screen average of $5,063.

TLA Releasing opened "Boy Culture" on three theaters to $27,835. Directed by Q. Allan Brocka, the film generated a per-screen average of $9,278.