Faces & names: Cowabunga! ‘Turtles’ are No. 1 at box office
Wise-cracking turtles went head-to-head with a talking raccoon and a sentient tree at the multiplexes, and, in the end, the turtles came out on top. Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” beat expectations with a strong $65 million in the U.S. and Canada at the weekend box office, claiming the top spot previously held by Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and notching the fourth-highest August opening ever.
Heading into the weekend, most box office prognosticators predicted that the big-screen reboot of the 1980s crime-fighting-turtle franchise would earn between $40 million and $50 million. But “Turtles” drew a broader and more diverse crowd than expected, with exit data showing that 55 percent of the audience was at least 25 years old.
Though critics shelled “Turtles” — with a mere 19 percent positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website — audiences were more upbeat, giving the film an average grade of B, according to polling firm CinemaScore. Even before the weekend was over, Paramount announced it was moving ahead with a sequel, which is slated for June 2016.