Romantic drama ‘Me Before You’ overperforms thanks to younger women, while ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ chokes; ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ jumps $400 million globally after opening to a record $59 million in China.
Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows easily won the North American box-office race over the weekend even as it became the latest Hollywood sequel to come in well behind its predecessor.
The family-friendly film topped the chart with $35.3 million from 3,701 theaters, more than 46 percent behind the 2014 reboot. In August of that year, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wowed with $65.6 million on its way to grossing $493.2 million worldwide for Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies.
The male-driven sequel, once again starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, also launched in 40 percent of the foreign marketplace this weekend, grossing $34 million for a global debut of $69.3 million (it doesn’t open in China until July 2.) As in the U.S., the tentpole came in behind the 2014 release overseas, although by a narrower margin.
“Clearly, the bar is being raised in terms of sequels,” said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore.
TMNT 2 cost $135 million to make and was produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. It played younger than the 2014 film, although both sport a PG-13 rating. “This time, 40 percent of the audience was under 18. Last time, it was 27 percent. The good news is that family movies tend to play to higher multiples,” said Moore.
David Green directed TMNT 2, which also stars Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Noel Fisher and Jeremy Howard.
X-Men: Apocalypse fell to No. 2 in its second weekend, declining 66 percent to $22.3 million from 4,153 locations for a domestic total of $116.5 million.
Overseas, however, Apocalypse had no trouble beating the turtles, earning $84.4 million from 66 markets for a foreign total of $286 million and crossing the $400 million mark globally. The Bryan Singer-directed tentpole especially impressed in its China bow with $59 million, the second-best showing for a Fox title after the re-release of Titanic.
In North America, New Line and MGM’s romantic tearjerker Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) opposite The Hunger Games‘ San Claflin, did nicely in its debut, placing No. 3 with $18.3 million from 2,704 theaters.
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. Females made up 81 percent of the audience, while 53 percent of the audience was under 35.
“It played everywhere. And there’s just a lack of female stories,” said Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “This movie will play and play.”
Offshore, Me Before You took in $7.7 million from its first 16 markets for a worldwide bow of $26 million. That includes a first-place finish in the U.K. with $2.7 million, followed by South Korea with $1.6 million.
The weekend’s other new nationwide player was Universal’s mockumentaryPopstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, starring Andy Samberg as a Justin Bieber-like pop star who lives a ridiculous lifestyle while trying to build a solo career after headlining a popular boy band. The $21 million film, targeting younger males, came in No. 8 with a forgettable $4.6 million from 2,311 theaters.
Written by The Lonely Island comedy trio Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, Popstar earned a middling B CinemaScore and 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 continued to struggle in its second weekend, coming in No. 4 with an estimated $10.7 million from 3,763 locations for domestic cume of $50.8 million. (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.)
Overseas, Alice 2 earned another $30.9 million for a foreign total of $125.5 million and disappointing global cume of $176.4 million. Disney can certainly withstand the hit; over the weekend, Zootopia became the second movie of the year to cross $1 billion at the worldwide box office after fellow Disney release Captain America: Civil, which has amassed $1.132 billion through Sunday.
Animated family film The Angry Birds Movie rounded out the top five domestically in its third weekend with $10.8 million from 3,484 theaters. Globally, the video game adaptation has cleared $283.5 million for Sony and Rovio, including a solid $86.7 million domestically. The movie is winding down its run overseas, where it took in $16.7 million over the weekend from 88 markets for a foreign cume of $196.8 million.
Legendary and Universal’s big-budget video game adaptation Warcraft continued its international expansion, opening in another eight markets. The tentpole earned $29.9 million from 28 territories for an early foreign total of $70 million. While Warcraft is prospering in some countries, such as Russia and Germany, its chances are iffy in the U.S., where tracking suggests it will open in the $22 million-$24 million range.