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‘Expendables 3’ Flops, ‘TMNT’ Tops Friday Box Office

“The Expendables 3” is living up to its title.

Lionsgate’s actioner flopped on Friday with a franchise-worst debut of $5.9 million. It’s estimated to earn $15.3 million by Sunday, which would be the lowest opening in the series.

The pizza-loving reptiles of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” earned enough dough to hold down the top spot in the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row.

Paramount’s “TMNT” grossed $7.9 million on Friday on its way to a $26 million-plus weekend, while Disney-Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” came in second. Newcomers “Let’s Be Cops,” “The Expendables 3” and “The Giver” were no competition for the summer box office saviors.

“TMNT” joins only three other movies — Paramount’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” — that have come in no. 1 at the summer box office for two consecutive weekends.

In a repeat of last weekend, “Guardians” was the runner-up with $7 million. The intergalactic adventure is en route for a $23 million weekend, which would mark a 44% drop. The tentpole crossed the $200 million mark on Friday and will haul as much as $221 million by Sunday.

“Expendables 3” came in third place on Friday, but won’t be able to outmuscle Fox’s “Let’s Be Cops” the rest of this weekend, likely landing in fourth by Sunday.

Despite being the most star-studded pic of the franchise (starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson), “Expendables 3” will likely have the lowest-grossing debut of the bunch. The original pic launched to $34.8 million in 2010 while the second installment debuted to $28.6 in 2012. “Expendables 3” could miss the last film’s mark by more than $10 million.

Audiences may be weary of the geriatric action stars (and prefer their heroes of the superhuman variety) or piracy could have hurt its box office performance. A leaked copy of the film was downloaded 189,000 times over a 24-hour period when it surfaced online three weeks ago. A federal judge recently granted Lionsgate a temporary restraining order to curb the illegal downloads.

Fox’s “Let’s Be Cops” is still going strong after its mid-week debut. The raunchy comedy starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. as two friends impersonating police officers earned $5.6 million on Friday. It looks to make $17 million (its production budget) this weekend, which would raise its cume to $25 million.

The Weinstein Company’s “The Giver” rounded out the top five. Based on Lois Lowry’s dystopian YA novel of the same name, the movie earned $4.7 million (including an impressive $750,000 from Thursday late-night screenings) on Friday en route to $13 million.

The pic starring Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites offers an alternative to the action-heavy blockbusters.
The $25 million adaptation has been in the works for about 18 years.

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