Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows—the sequel to the 2014 movie that boldly reimagined the popular pizza-loving chelonians as nightmarish monstrosities with nostrils, lips, and the physique of golden-age Muscle Beach bodybuilder Chuck Ahrens—topped the domestic box office this weekend with $35.3 million. That’s a lot less than its predecessor’s $65.5 million opening weekend, a steep drop that could be chalked up to today’s smartphone-addled youth no longer being able to relate to the experience of projecting human emotions on to the glassy stare of a pet turtle. (That, or the fact that that a large portion of its potential audience has seen the previous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and isn’t looking for a repeat.)
That put fellow “comic-book-based franchise entry with a cheerless subtitle” X-Men: Apocalypse in the No. 2 spot with an estimated $22.3 million; the figure falls below expectations, though Apocalypse continues to perform much better abroad. (It brought in an estimated $59 million in China this weekend, for instance.) The closest thing this weekend had to a surprise was the $18.3 million earned by romance adaptation Me Before You, which performed somewhat better than expected to land at No. 3. Meanwhile, Alice Through The Looking Glass continues to be a commercial fiasco, dropping to No. 4 ($10.7 million) in its second weekend, and serving yet another reminder that just because a lot of people paid to see something doesn’t mean they want to see more of it.
On to more disheartening news: Despite getting good reviews and being pretty damn funny, The Lonely Island’s pop-rap mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping made only $4.6 million, landing in the No. 8 spot on its opening weekend, thereby taking its first step to becoming the Walk Hard-esque cult favorite it was perhaps always destined to be. (Besides sharing a producer and a cast member with the faux biopic, Popstar has had an opening that’s eerily similar to Walk Hard’s $4.1 million.)
However, two good comedies with seemingly limited commercial appeal are continuing to do unexpectedly well. Whit Stillman’s dry, wry low-budget Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship—which briefly cracked the top 10 last week—made another $2.1 million this weekend, and is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of the writer-director’s career. And Yorgos Lanthimos’ absurdist black comedy The Lobster successfully expanded into several hundred more theaters this weekend, earning $1.5 million.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.