Weekend Report: 'Turtles,' 'Guardians' Crush Weak 'Expendables'
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy held on to the top two spots at the box office this weekend, handily defeating the disappointing Expendables 3.

The Top 12 earned $129 million this weekend, which is up six percent from the same frame last year. This August remains on track to be the biggest ever at the domestic box office with around $1 billion.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fell 57 percent to $28.5 million. The movie avoided the 60-percent-plus drop of many of Summer 2014's blockbusters, which is a solid win considering the poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth. Turtles has so far earned $117.8 million, and will pass G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($122.5 million) in the next few days.

In its third weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy eased 40 percent to $25.1 million. On Saturday, it eclipsed Thor: The Dark World's domestic total; with $222.7 million in the bank already, Guardians is going to have no problem surpassing Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($260 million). In fact, it's now a safe bet that Guardians of the Galaxy ends its domestic box office run with over $280 million.

In a surprising development, The Expendables 3 wasn't the highest-grossing newcomer of the weekend. That honor went to Let's Be Cops, which took third place with $17.8 million. Including its Wednesday and Thursday grosses, Let's Be Cops has already earned $26.2 million.

That five-day total is nowhere near We're the Millers and Tropic Thunder, which respectively opened to $37.9 million and $36.8 million. Still, this debut is a major step up from August comedies like The Change-Up and 30 Minutes or Less (both between $13 and $14 million).

It's also worth noting that Let's Be Cops opened above recent star-driven comedies like A Million Ways to Die in the West, Sex Tape and Blended. Credit goes to Fox's marketing department for a campaign that clearly conveyed the movie's interesting premise while also supplying plenty of laughs.

The movie's audience was 56 percent male and 54 percent under the age of 25. With a younger audience, poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth ("B" CinemaScore), this will likely fall off quickly. Still, a total north of $55 million is likely.

The Expendables 3 opened in fourth place with $15.9 million, which is off a massive 45 percent from The Expendables 2's debut. That's a stunning drop, and is almost unheard of for closely-timed sequels (though fellow Lionsgate/Summit release Step Up All In was also off 45 percent from its predecessor last weekend).

A handful of factors contributed to this steep drop. As is the case with many third installments, franchise fatigue has set in; while the movie did seem to mix things up a bit, it still couldn't overcome the feeling that it was more of the same. Meanwhile, some die-hard fans of the first two installments were likely turned off by the movie's PG-13 rating; for a franchise that was built around over-the-top violence, this seemed like an odd change.

Finally, it's likely that piracy had some kind of impact. A pristine version of the movie has been online for the past few weeks, and has reportedly been downloaded over two million times. It's impossible to say exactly how much of an impact this had, but it's also hard to imagine that the movie would have dropped 43 percent without the piracy effect.

The Expendables 3's audience was 61 percent male and 66 percent over the age of 25 (so much for that PG-13 rating). It received an "A-" CinemaScore, which suggests decent word-of-mouth. If it follows the trajectory of the first two movies, it will close around $48 million.

Playing at 3,003 theaters, The Giver opened in fifth place with $12.3 million. While it came in on the high end of these comparisons, The Giver still essentially wound up in the same realm as recent young-adult flops The Host, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Beautiful Creatures. In the long run, The Giver should close between $30 and $40 million.

Into The Storm fell 55 percent to $7.9 million. Meanwhile, The Hundred-Foot Journey added $7.2 million, which was off a light 35 percent.

Richard Linklater's Boyhood expanded to 771 theaters and took 11th place with $1.99 million. To date, Boyhood has earned $13.6 million, and it's on track to close with at least $20 million total.

Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight expanded nationwide to 964 theaters and earned a weak $1.79 million. That's noticeably lower than To Rome with Love, which grossed $3.11 million in its wide expansion. With mixed word-of-mouth and reviews, Magic in the Moonlight may struggle to reach $10 million.

After a week in limited release, What If expanded to 787 theatres this weekend. The Daniel Radcliffe/Zoe Kazan rom-com earned $854,364, which is the fourth-lowest nationwide debut this year ahead of The Rover ($481,214), The Railway Man ($551,943) and Persecuted ($851,391). In the long run, this should earn more than Kazan's Ruby Sparks ($2.54 million), but not by much.

Around-the-World Roundup

How to Train Your Dragon 2 added $37.7 million this weekend, which brings its international total to $364.3 million. Most of that came from China, where the movie opened to an impressive $25.9 million; according to 20th Century Fox, that's eight times higher than the first Dragon's debut. Meanwhile, Dragon opened in first place in Italy with $3.6 million (twice as big as the first movie).

Guardians of the Galaxy grossed $33.1 million overseas this weekend, which brings its early total to $196.4 million. It opened to $7.2 million in France and $3 million in Spain; in both markets, it was above Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Guardians still has Germany, Italy, Japan and China on the way; for reference, Thor: The Dark World earned around $93 million from those four territories.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles added $25.6 million this weekend. Its only major new market was Brazil, where it opened to an impressive $6 million (above Guardians of the Galaxy's recent launch). The movie has earned $67.5 million so far, and will continue rolling out overseas over the next two months.

Lucy earned an estimated $22 million overseas this weekend. That includes a strong $5.1 million first place debut in Germany. The movie has taken in $61 million so far, and still has plenty of international markets left to open; next weekend, it expands in to the U.K., Spain and a dozen other territories.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes added $16.5 million overseas, which brings its total to $334.8 million. The movie expands in to China on August 29th.

Transformers: Age of Extinction has now earned $811.1 million overseas. Over the weekend, it passed Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Iron Man 3 to move up to sixth place all-time.

The Expendables 3 began its international roll-out this weekend. With a handful of different companies handling the international release, it's unclear exactly how much it made; it did open to $3.8 million in Russia and $1.7 million in Spain. Full results should be available later this week.

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This Weekend's Forecast:

'Expendables' To Battle 'Turtles,' 'Guardians' This Weekend

This Weekend in Past Years:

• 2013 - 'Kick-Ass' Gets Butt Kicked by 'Butler'

• 2012 - 'Expendables 2' Commandeers Top Spot, Misses Predecessor's Mark

• 2011 - 'The Help' Reigns Over Gutless 'Conan,' 'Fright Night'• 2010 - 'Expendables' Pump Up, 'Eat Pray Love' Pigs Out, 'Scott Pilgrim' Powers Down

• 2009 - Humans Welcome 'District 9'

• 2008 - 'Tropic Thunder' Rolls Into Top Spot

• 2007 - 'Superbad' Scores

• 2006 - 'Snakes' All Hiss and No Bite

• 2005 - 'Virgin,' 'Red Eye' Fly High for Rising Actors

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