Like an unstoppable force born out of toxic ooze, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arose from dismal reviews and the seething hatred of people who are probably too old to care this deeply about Ninja Turtles to become the No. 1 movie in America. Its $65 million take was enough to replace smart-mouthed raccoons with horny turtles as the country’s fixation du jour. And, of course, it spurred the obligatory announcement of a Turtles sequel scheduled for June 3, 2016, with Michael Bay returning to produce, Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec returning to script, and—if Cinemascore data is to be believed—plenty of moviegoers over the age of 25, a whopping 55 percent of this weekend’s audience, returning to complain. It’s unknown whether this second Ninja Turtles movie will attempt to mirror 1991’s The Secret Of The Ooze, with its anti-mutagen donuts and Vanilla Ice raps, or whether it will be totally stupid.
With Guardians Of The Galaxy holding strong in second place, it was a race to the middle for all other new releases—a race won by third-place finisher Into The Storm ($18 million), which played right into the whole tornado craze that sweeps the nation every March to August, hitting areas of low pressure and character development. It handily beat out The Hundred-Foot Journey’s own perfect storm of food porn, glossy travelogue, and Helen Mirren acting haughty, which left a gentle rain of $11 million and scattered avowals to go to the French countryside someday across a broad swath of middle-aged America. And it wasn’t even close for Step Up All In, with the fifth installment debuting in sixth place—behind the remarkably tenacious Lucy—and likely spelling an end to the series about battle dancers dance battlin’ in various prearranged dance battles. (That is, until Michael Bay reboots it, with a movie suggesting the Step Up dancers may have such otherworldly moves because they’re aliens.)
In limited release, James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D, in which the director sees who can hold their breath the longest at the bottom of the ocean, earned $150,900 across 304 theaters, for a fairly embarrassing per-screen average of just $496. No doubt Cameron is sulking beneath the Pacific this very moment, being offered consoling platitudes by his advisor-fish. Meanwhile, the high-concept romantic comedy What If, which poses the fantastic hypothesis of a man and a woman being friends before they have sex, pulled in the second-highest per-screen average of the weekend ($6,500 per 20 theaters), no doubt boosted by Daniel Radcliffe and the fact that you had to sit through its trailer if you wanted to watch any YouTube video last week. Finally, the “real-life Dog Day Afternoon” documentary The Dog did a decent $10,900 business in its two theaters—though of course, it would have been an August smash had it been about an actual dog, preferably one that karate fights.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.