Cowabummer! “TMNT 2” Underwhelms But Still Wins the Weekend


June 3-5, 2016

(estimates from


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Out of the Shadows
$35. 2 million
X-Men: Apocalypse $22.3 million
Me Before You $18.2 million
Alice Through the Looking Glass  $10.6 million
The Angry Birds Movie $9.7 million

The turtles might have come out of the shadows, but they did not have turtle power on their side. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows debuted with $30 million less than the 2014 reboot, which has continued the trend of this year's underwhelming sequels (Civil War excluded). Part of that can be attributed to how many people disliked the last movie, though critics and audiences generally found this one to better. There will still be plenty of merchandise that kids will buy, so Paramount will be fine, but this is definitely not what they were expecting.

X-Men: Apocalypse experienced the worst drop of any full X-Men movie, sliding 66.1 percent for a pretty dreadful $22.3 million. It's likely to only top out at $150 million, which puts the entire franchise in question. That was still better than Alice Through the Looking Glass, which is unlikely to even reach $75 million, or the very meh Angry Birds Movie, which still hasn't even broken $90 million.

But the big success story of the week is definitely Me Before You. The very British romance about a paralyzed former playboy and his quirky caretaker did very well, taking in $18.2 million. It only cost $20 million to make and the heavily female audience gave it an A rating. With almost no other romantic films on the horizon, this could be the sleeper hit of the summer.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Witness, a documentary about the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese. It only opened on one screen in New York, but made $15,000.
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping tanked harder than Conner4Real's second album. Though Stephen hated it and I loved it, audiences stayed far away. The film debuted at No. 8 with only $4.6 million. That's even lower than cult classic Hot Rod, which opened with just $5.3 million in 2007.
  • Zootopia became the second movie of 2016 to join the $1 Billion Club.

Next week:

Expect another so-so weekend. There are three movies opening: two sequels and one video game adaptation that's got disaster written all over it. The Conjuring and Now You See Me were two of the biggest surprises of 2013. Neither really called for a sequel, but here we are. I think The Conjuring 2 takes the top spot with $30 million, while Now You See Me 2 finds No. 2 with $26 million. That leaves Warcraft to be the costly misfire it appears to be. I think it only makes $20 million, if that.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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