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Box office hits and misses: X-Men’s big fall gives Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a win

Despite the presence of multiple comic-book movies in theaters, it was a decidedly unheroic weekend for the top films as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows underwhelmed in its debut and X-Men: Apocalypse took a big fall in its second week.

The sequel to 2014’s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Out of the Shadows managed a meager (by big-budget franchise standards) $35.2 million in its opening weekend, well under the $65.5 million its predecessor earned for its debut. However, all is not lost for the sequel, which earned significantly better reviews from audiences than the first film, suggesting it could have enough support for a decent run in theaters.

The weekend’s highs and lows were even more extreme for X-Men: Apocalypse, which dropped more than 66 percent from its first weekend to the next. Any second-week drop that high is typically cause for concern (both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice dropped 69 percent in their second weeks, for example), and with Apocalypse lagging well behind 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s not exactly a bright outlook for the latest installment of the rebooted franchise.

There is some hope for the film, though, as it’s actually doing quite well outside the U.S. — to the tune of more than $402.5 million worldwide so far. The movie opened in China (the second largest movie market in the world) over the weekend, and had the second-best debut of all time for 20th Century Fox, ranking only behind the Titanic re-release.

As for the rest of the weekend’s top films, the romantic drama Me Before You earned a respectable $18.2 million for its opening weekend, well above box-office pundits predictions for the film. It might be easy to attribute some of that success to the presence of Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke as the film’s female lead, but that didn’t seem to do much for last year’s Terminator Genisys.

The only other new release to make it into the top ten for the weekend was Andy Samberg’s cameo-filled comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which failed to win over critics or audiences. The feature from the Lonely Island sketch comedy team earned just $4.6 million its first weekend and didn’t do well with professional critics or general audiences, as far as reviews go.

The only other film of note among the weekend’s top movies is The Angry Birds Movie, which now ranks as the third highest-grossing movie based on a video game both domestically and worldwide. Only three weeks into its theatrical run, the movie isn’t likely to take over the top spot, but could very well slide into second place on the all-time rankings — but with Warcraft and Assassins’ Creed on the way this year, its time among the blockbusters could be fleeting.

This week, the aforementioned Warcraft arrives in theaters riding a wave of less-than-stellar reviews, so it will be interesting to see if it can overcome the negative buzz and produce the sort of box office numbers that a fantasy epic of that scale deserves. The horror sequel The Conjuring 2 also debuts in theaters, as well as another sequel, Now You See Me 2.

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