Belfast Telegraph

Turtles are still box office heroes

Moviegoers have continued to shell out for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, while Sylvester Stallone's action ensemble The Expendables 3 was easily out-gunned in its weekend debut.

Paramount Pictures' rebooted reptile tale, starring Megan Fox, took in 28.4 million dollars (£16.9 million) in its second weekend in the US, according to studio estimates. That far surpassed the limp 16.2 million dollars (£9.6 million) earned by Stallone's gang of aged but buff warriors.

The paltry, fourth-place total for The Expendables 3 is well below previous debuts in the Lionsgate franchise. The last two Expendables opened with 34.8 million dollars (£20.8 million, in August 2010) and 28.6 million dollars (£17 million, in August 2012). The third film was the first to be rated PG-13 in the previously R-rated series, which potentially signaled watered-down explosiveness to an audience that was largely over 25.

Expendables 3, which features a sprawling cast of Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and others, also leaked online before its release, potentially damaging its impact in cinemas.

Instead, Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy came in second with 24.7 million dollars (£14.7 million), bringing its three-week cumulative total to 222 million dollars (£132.7 million) for distributor Walt Disney. Along with the Nickelodeon Movies-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the cosmic romp starring Chris Pratt has helped restore some strength to the summer box office. Sequels are already in the works for both films.

Opening in third place was the 20th Century Fox buddy comedy Let's Be Cops, starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr, according to Rentrak. It took in 17.7 million dollars (£10.5 million).

Also debuting was the Lois Lowry adaption The Giver, a dystopian young-adult tale starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. The Weinstein Co release opened with an estimated 12.8 million dollars (£7.6 million).

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