Box-office roundup – Aug. 17, 2014 – Turtle power holds on for a second week

Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount  Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello
Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount
Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $28.4 million [2nd week; $117 million in total] – The Turtles saw a significant drop from their box office win last week, but they were able to hold on to the top spot for another week narrowly holding off the runner-up yet again. “Turtles'” drop was a bit more than “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” which earned a B+ CinemaScore and earned $31 million its second weekend. “Turtles” received a “B” CinemaScore. It’s pretty safe to assume that “Turtles” won’t be able to hold off “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” but the lack of other family films may help it make the top spot an actual battle next weekend.

HOWARD-THE-DUCK-GUARDIANS-OF-THE-GALAXY-2. Guardians of the Galaxy – $24.7 million [3rd week; $222 million] Guardians couldn’t catch up to Turtles in a repeat of last week’s results, but it has gone on to be the summer’s third highest grossing film. It should surpass “X-Men: Days of Future Past’s” $234 million and now seems poised to catch “Transformers: Age of Extinction’s” $243 million. Not bad for a film featuring a collection of heroes that no one but the most avid comic book readers knew about four weeks ago.

let's be cops - jake johnson and damon wayans jr. with female lifeguards3. Let’s Be Cops – $17.7 million [debut; $26.1 million since Wednesday opening] – Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson’ fake turn as cops proved a decent hit with audiences eager for a new comedy after a summer of action blockbusters. Compared to other August comedies, “Cops” wasn’t as spectacular as “We’re the Millers,” which opened to $26 million in a normal weekend cycle, but it did fare better than “30 Minutes or Less’s” $13 million in 2011 — a fairer comparison since neither film featured an A-lister like Jennifer Aniston. With a $17 million budget, it’s already turned a profit for distributor 20th Century Fox so anything from this point is just gravy.

Phil Bray/Lionsgate Publicity Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, left) and Doc (Wesley Snipes)
Phil Bray/Lionsgate Publicity
Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, left) and Doc (Wesley Snipes)

4. The Expendables 3 – $16.2 million [debut week] – The highest profile new release of the week missed the target with paying audiences as it failed to beat out last week’s champ and runner-up. “The Expendables 2” opened in 2012 to $28 million so this is a very disappointing haul, but in this case there’s an extenuating circumstance that likely led to this low number. According to CinemaScore, the film received an “A-” one of the better scores for a summer blockbuster.

Granted, the audience who would be going to see this third installment knows what to expect and was satisfied, but the film was illegally downloaded 2.2 million times. Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson told that an illegal download of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” cost the company at least $10 million when an unfinished version leaked online. If Aronson’s estimate was correct, it’s not a stretch to say “Expendables 3” likely lost somewhere around $7 million to $10 million thanks to the downloads. “Expendables 2” made $85 million domestically compared to the $103 million of the original, but it made more worldwide, which could be the real gauge for “The Expendables 3.”

5. The Giver – $12.7 million [debut week] – The third high profile new release this week found itself in familiar territory with other would-be YA adaptations like “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” and “Beautiful Creatures” despite the appearance of regular Oscar nominee Meryl Streep and fellow Oscar winner Jeff Bridges. Its opening makes “Divergent’s” $54 million opening in March look all the more impressive.