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‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Scores $25.6 Mil Friday on Way to $65 Mil Weekend

Cowabunga is right.

Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” more than doubled the box office earnings of Disney-Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” on Friday. The turtle adventure opened to $25.6 million and is on track for a much-higher-than-anticipated $62 million to $65 million this weekend. Analysts had expected the film to debut north of $40 million.

The film is also doing strong business internationally, earning $6.7 million from 19 markets on Friday to bring its foreign gross to $12 million. Russia and Mexico are leading the way with $5.5 million and $2.6 million, respectively.

“TMNT” was off to a solid start on Thursday when it reeled in $4.6 million from late-night screenings.

The pic looks to outgross in a single weekend the entire domestic cume of the most recent live-action turtles tale, 1993’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III,” which made $42.3 million.

The rebooted “TMNT” comes with a hefty $125 million budget. It’s directed by Jonathan Liebesman, produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, and stars Megan Fox.

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“TMNT,” which earned a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B CinemaScore, looks to be benefiting from both older audiences’ familiarity with the 1990s films and TV shows, as well as younger movie-goers’ interest in the rebooted Nickelodeon series.

After giving a boost to a stagnant summer box office when it debuted to an astonishing $94.3 million last weekend, last week’s box office winner, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” was runner-up this Friday with $12.3 million. The intergalactic pic is headed for a $42 million sophomore weekend. This would mark a 55% drop and raise its cume to almost $177 million.

Warner Bros.’ “Into the Storm” came in third on Friday with $6.5 million. The disaster pic is eyeing an $18 million debut. The movie, which cost an economical $50 million to produce, comes 20 years after WB’s surprise summer hit “Twister.”

Another newcomer, DreamWorks’ “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” launched in fourth place with $3.7 million on Friday. The food dramedy from producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey centers around dueling chefs from two very different walks of life.

Universal’s “Lucy” rounded out the top five with $2.8 million in its third frame. The actioner will likely gross north of $9 million this weekend – a 50% drop. If estimates hold, the Scarlett Johansson-starrer will have made $97 million-plus by Sunday.

This weekend’s last new wide release, Summit’s “Step Up All In,” landed in sixth place with $2.8 million. The fifth installment in the dance competition franchise stands to earn $6.8 million this weekend.

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