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Weak 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' box office still wins the weekend

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows emerged from its opening weekend with an estimated $35.3 million at the domestic box office. It's enough for a first place finish in the weekend race, but still bad news for the Paramount franchise.

Shadows follows the 2014 reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which arrived in August of that year with an opening weekend finish (domestic) of $65.6 million. It was a middling debut by summer standards, though understandable coming one week after the smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy arrived.

Meanwhile, Shadows earned even less in the summer season's opening month, which is arguably a more advantageous position. Its biggest competitors from last week are Alice Through the Looking Glass and X-Men: Apocalypse, both of which saw attendance drop-offs of more than 60%.

It didn't fare much better overseas, either. Opening in more than 50 markets outside of the U.S., Shadows only managed to bring in an estimated $34 million. In other words, there was a lot of opportunity for Turtles to capitalize on this weekend, but it failed to bring out any big crowds. 

At this point Paramount has to be wondering if Out of the Shadows, which was said to be budgeted at $135 million, will manage to break even. The movie still isn't out in a number of key foreign markets — including China, which is historically friendly to American blockbusters — so all is not lost.

X-Men: Apocalypse clocks a distant second-place finish with an estimated $22.3 million at the domestic box office. It's a steeper-than-expected drop-off of 66% after a $65.8 million opening, which probably has more to do with last week's Memorial Day weekend padding Sunday sales than this week's Turtles creating competition.

Newcomer Me Before You finishes at #3, with an estimated $18.3 million. Warner Bros. can thank stars Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) for giving this date night romance some extra box office juice.

The week's other big new release, The Lonely Island mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, turned out to be a disappointment. Its estimated $4.6 million box office is only good enough for a #8 finish. Apparently, Osama bin Laden jokes are more outdated than the musical comedy trio thought.

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