9th UPDATE, Monday, 1:20 PM: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ended up the three-day weekend with $65.5M, buoyed by the brand recognition from those 25- to 35-year-olds who grew up on them and powered by a very well-executed marketing campaign (which included a national cross-promotion with Pizza Hut). The Michael Bay production charged into the weekend box office on Thursday and just didn’t stop. The film, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, already has sparked a sequel. Paramount and Bay have breathed new life into two new sequels this summer, Turtles and Transformers. The question for Turtles is what will happen next weekend as it was not a favorite of critics (to say the least) and the core audience gave it a B CinemaScore, which usually means an average multiple of 3.2. Its ww total is now of $94.5M.

Related: What CinemaScores Mean And Why Exit Polling Matters

The-Guardians-of-the-GalaxyGuardians Of The Galaxy as expected was down about 55% in its second weekend for Disney/Marvel for a total 3-day cume of $42.1M after midweek grosses pushed it into the August record books. After two weeks, the domestic cume is now $176.5M to go with $138.8M overseas for a ww take of more than $315M. Warner Bros’ Into The Storm ended the weekend at $17.3M and bowed overseas to $25.6M. The Hundred-Foot Journey dished up $10.9M, and Step Up All In tiptoed in with $6.4M (now has around $46.4M ww).

Myka
3 months
I am being dragged to the theaters by my boyfriend and his bratty ten year old. So...
John
3 months
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is about as predictable as movies get these days.
john
3 months
I think Marvel could do a good job with Dr. Strange given that Guardians of the Galaxy...

Related: Intl B.O. Final: ‘Turtles’ Kicks In $29M Opening; ‘Guardians’ At $313M

The strength of this weekend’s box office helped lift the year out of its decline a bit. The Top Ten titles were up 23.3% over this time last year, according to Rentrak. “This was a great weekend and to have the momentum that has carried forward since Lucy, and then Guardians and now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that has really turned things around in a significant way in a very short time,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak. “We have knocked the deficit down by about 3.5% in a matter of two weeks. It just shows you what a difference one or two movies can make.” Indeed. The domestic summer box office from May through this weekend is still down 16.4%. “People always want to go to the movies, they just need a compelling reason,” Dergarabedian added. “August is no longer the loss leader; it is becoming a prime month to release movies and a new opportunity for films to perform at the box office.”

Related: Box Office Weekend: Behind The Scenes, A Fight For Screens

Lets Be CopsOPENING THIS WEEK: The buddy comedy Let’s Be Cops, which stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr, bows on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. with a full day on Wednesday, and it is tracking this morning as the No. 1 want-to-see movie of the weekend for Fox; odds are on it will make upper teens to low $20M. The five-day gross will be bigger. In the want-to-see factor, Cops is just above The Expendables 3, which has the distinct disadvantage of already have been downloaded over 2 million times online due to piracy. That’s a bad deal for all involved, including Lionsgate which is releasing the Millennium Entertainment film this weekend. How much financial impact that will have at the box office will be hard to quantify, but it definitely will impact it. After writing about the investigation and subsequent court actions against the Internet companies allowing the downloads, commenters across the Internet were already evaluating the movie (some for the worst) so it’s a problem for them for sure. It heads into theaters Thursday at 7 PM. We expect this one to do less than Expendables 2 did in 2012 which opened to $28.5M — so figure this one at probably around $25M.

Related: Lionsgate Granted ‘Expendables 3′ Online Leak Permanent Injunction

Also bowing this weekend is The Giver from director Phillip Noyce and starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep; but this is a YA novel adaptation so what is the strength of its start Brendan Thwaites (Oculus and Maleficent)? Maybe mid to upper teens or so.

The Top 20 Box Office chart follows:

1). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,845 theaters / Per screen average: $17,055 / 3-day cume: $65.5M / Wk 1

2). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 4,088 theaters (+8) / 3-day cume: $42.1M (-55%) / Per screen: $10,035 / Total cume: $176.5M / Wk 2

3). Into The Storm (WB), 3,434 theaters / Per screen: $5,051 / 3-day cume: $17.3M / Wk 1

4). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 2,023 theaters / Per screen: $5,427 / 3-day cume: $10.97M / Wk 1

5). Lucy (UNI), 3,147 theaters (57) / 3-day cume: $9.4M / Per screen: $3,105 / Total cume: $9.48M / Wk 3

6). Step Up All In (LGF), 2,072 theaters / Per screen: $3,123 / 3-day cume: $6.46M / Wk 1

7). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 2,896 theaters (-699) / 3-day cume: $5.7M / Per screen: $1,984 / Total cume: $63.5M / Wk 3

8). Get On Up (UNI), 2,469 theaters (+1) / 3-day cume: $5.19M+ (-62%) / Per screen: $2,104 / Total cume: $23.1M / Wk 2

9). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 2,306 theaters (-977) / 3-day cume: $4.3M / Per screen: $1,880 / Total cume: $197.7M / Wk 5

10). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 2,280 theaters (-961) / 3-day cume: $2.45M / Per screen: $1,075 / Total cume: $52.9M / Wk 4

11). The Purge: Anarchy (UNI), 1,062 theaters (-1,054) / 3-day cume: $2.85M / Per screen: $1,426 / Total cume: $68.5M / Wk 4

12). A Most Wanted Man (RSA), 801 theaters (+75) / 3-day cume: $2.1M / Per screen: $2,745 / Total cume: $10.4M / Wk 3

13). Boyhood (IFC), 506 theaters (+196) / 3-day cume: $1.97M / Per screen: $3,901 / Total cume: $10.5M / Wk 5

14). And So It Goes (FREE), 1,111 theaters (-705) / 3-day cume: $1.2M / Per screen: $1,084 / Total cume: $13.2M / Wk 3

15). Sex Tape (SONY), 944 theaters (-1,556) / 3-day cume: $1.1M / Per screen: $1,191 / Total cume: $36.9M / Wk 4

16). Magic in the Moonlight (SPC), 170 theaters (+105) / 3-day cume: $763K / Per screen: $4,488 / Total cume: $2.39M / Wk 3

17). How to Train Your Dragon 2 (FOX), 526 theaters (-335) / 3-day cume: $690K / Per screen: $1,312 / Total cume: $170.1M / Wk 9

18). Transformers: Age of Extinction (PAR), 580 theaters (-1,152) / 3-day cume: $576K / Per screen: $994 / Total cume: $242.88M / Wk 7

19). Maleficent (DIS), 370 theaters (-311) / 3-day cume: $538K / Per screen: $1,456 / Total cume: $236M / Wk 11

20). Tammy (WB), 550 theaters (-865) / 3-day cume: $502K / Per screen: $913 / Total cume: $82.7M / Wk 6

TMNT vs Guardians8th UPDATE, Sunday, 8:05 AM: The dust has cleared and depending on the percentage decline today, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will end up over $65M, it just depends how much over … some have it at $65.1M and others as high as $65.7M. Paramount has yet to weigh in on anything but — surprise, surprise, a sequel is getting underway – and so will update again when they do.

Oops, they did and think right at $65M. If it falls 20% on Sunday, which is common for this kind of picture, it will still have a three-day gross of over $65M. Gotta give kudos to the marketing team over at Paramount for opening this picture — they did a fantastic job selling it to family audiences. The Michael Bay production started out in late nights with a healthy $4.6M in late nights on Thursday and just didn’t stop, building strength in matinees and then just kicking it in evening shows. With a B CinemaScore, if history holds true, the studio can expect around a 2.9 multiple for this newly hatched franchise.

With a tremendous play by Disney/Marvels’ Guardians of the Galaxy, it looks like this weekend is up 16.9% vs. the same weekend last year, according to Rentrak. Last year, the top film was Elysium, which debuted with $29.8M; We’re the Millers, which took in $26.4M; Planes, which had $22.2M; and Percy Jackson 2 ($14.4M).

So the wealth was spread around instead of grabbed by two pics in a weekend this year. The performance of these two pics definitely shook up some of the summer box-office doldrums … to wit, Rentrak reports that two weeks ago, the summer was 20% down vs. a year earlier. After Guardians, the summer was off just under 18% and now, after Turtles, it’s down around 16.5%. So about 3.5% shaved off of the red just in the last two weekends and 2013, as everyone knows, was a record year. Next year is expected to sail past 2014. In terms of profitability, one day the studios will come clean … well, maybe.

Pizza Hut And Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesWe picked the date ages ago,” said Megan Colligan, Paramount’s domestic distribution and marketing head. “We had Transformers in June, Hercules in July and this was going in August. It’s a very good day for us and for Nickelodeon.” As she pointed out, the network (another part of Viacom) is still airing the TV show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the seLeeanne Stablesries starts up again in September, so timing was everything.

Okay, so who is TMNT’s‘ unsung hero? Let’s give some attention to Leeanne Stables and her team in promotions. They implemented an aggressive and creative Pizza Hut promotion for the Turtles. Talk about nostalgic — it was reaching back in time when New Line had Pizza Hut as partners in the 1990s. The TV spot was right on and the ad buys were aggressive so they tapped into an old partner in a new way.

They way the picture was sold, according to Colligan, was to sell the nostalgia and then expand from there. “It’s a very unique brand, so it has the 25- to 35-year-olds — we call them the nostalgics — and these are the kids who grew up with them. It had a very robust fan base with kids. The key for us was expanding it to teens and parents and it was challenging. For teens, they really loved the incredible action of (director) Jonathan (Liebesman)’s film, and needed notes of comedy. For the parents it was about selling the good message of the film about working as a team and brotherhood and we also sold the humor in the ads there.” They went back to the 1990s to look at what really connected with the kiddies now grown, and pulled in the vernacular of the time — like Cowabunga — and, of course, tapped into the pizza obsession. “It was a lot of fun to work on,” she said. I bet.

grootGuardians of the Galaxy is no slouch either and will end up with about $41.5M to $43M for the weekend, also depending on the percentage decline today. That will bring its two-week total to about $176M for Disney/Marvel title — and gives the industry and audiences yet another original franchise. It will only have fallen about 56% in its second weekend out, which is a tremendous hold — especially given the strength of Turtles. Their grosses had to be helped this weekend by IMAX screens. Disney has locked them in for the next few weeks in a row. Domestically, IMAX fed in $4.6M on 354 screens and once again ended up having eight of the top 10 locations of the films’ gross and 16 of the Top 20. Yes, it is a great advantage to have those screens — higher ticket prices.

The studio, which reported $41.5M this AM, noted that it hopes it will have a stronger Sunday but is being conservative — refreshing as they are one of the few publicly-shared companies that do so on Sunday. They also note that they are still on track to become one of the biggest grosses this year so far. They’re right as this picture has been on a record-breaking tear during the week (see below).

movies-into-the-storm-posterOf the newcomers, Warner Bros. Into the Storm had the next best showing with a better-than-tracked $18M for the three-day. It held incredibly well yesterday, dropping only 2%. Once again, gotta give kudos to the studio’s distribution team, led by Dan Fellman, for having the wherewithal to take control of those PLFs so early on … that means a higher ticket price, which this picture needed. Imagine how much better Turtles would have done had it been able to secure all the PLFs. Well done, sir.

RELATED: Behind-The-scenes Battle: A Fight For Screens

The Hundred-Foot Journey also jumped 17% on Saturday and will end the weekend on the high side of the estimate with around $11.1M to $11.3M. This picture’s opening wraps up Disney’s summer. The studio made it to $1B domestically this past week — and is there any doubt it wouldn’t, given such titles as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, Frozen (which bowed last year but played strongly in the first quarter) and Guardians of the Galaxy?

RELATED: Disney Crosses $1B Box Office After Passing $2B Internationally

HundredFootJourney_cStep Up All In, which is already playing overseas in 37 territories, will end its opening weekend with $6M for Lionsgate (they are the only ones to think it will play higher with $6.5M), but worldwide will have grossed $43.7M after this weekend. Meanwhile, the second weekend of the James Brown biopic Get On Up dropped a hard 63% and will gross $5M (and change) for a two-week tally now of only $22.9M to $23.1M. Lucy, the Luc Besson-directed sci-fi actioner starring Scarlett Johansson, takes the No. 5 spot after three weeks in release and a $9.3M box office kitty. It has already bowed oversseas, had a strong showing in France and has a WW box office total after this weekend of over $100M.

See the International Box Office report here.

The Top Ten chart follows (complete with percentages expected for Sunday):

1). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,845 theaters / $25.7M Friday (includes $4.6M late nights) / $22.1M Sat. (-14%) / $17.7M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day est. cume: $65M to $66M / Wk 1

2). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 4,088 theaters (+8) / $12.3M Fri. / $16.9M Sat. (+38% ) / $12.2M to $13.6M Sun. (-20% to 22%) / 3-day cume: $41.5M to $43M (-54%) / Total cume: $175.9M / Wk 2

3). Into The Storm (WB), 3,434 theaters / $6.4M Fri. (includes $800K late nights) / $6.3M Sat. (-2%) / $5.1M Sun. (20%) / 3-day cume: $18M / Wk 1

4). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 2,023 theaters / $3.6M Fri. (includes $310K late nights) / $4.27M Sat. (+17%) / $3.3M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $11.1M to $11.3M / Wk 1

5). Lucy (UNI), 3,147 theaters (57) / $2.8M Fri. / $3.8M Sat. (+35%) / $2.8M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $9.38M / Total cume: $97.4M / Wk 3

6). Step Up All In (LGF), 2,072 theaters / $2.6M Fri. (includes $375K late nights) / $1.9M Sat. (-27%) / $1.4M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $6M / Wk 1

7). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 2,896 theaters (-699) / $1.2M Fri. /$2.2M Sat. (+33%) / $1.7M Sun. (-25%)  3-day cume: $5.68M / Total cume: $63.4M / Wk 3

8). Get On Up (UNI), 2,469 theaters (+1) / $1.5M Fri. / $2.19M Sat. (+46%) / $1.5M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $5M+ (-63%) / Total cume: $22.9M to $23M+/ Wk 2

9). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 2,306 theaters (-977) / $1.2M Fri. / $1.77M Sat. (+44%) / $1.33M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $4.35M / Total cume: $197.8M / Wk 5

10). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 2,280 theaters (-961) / $721K Fri. / $996K Sat. (+45%) / $700K Sun. (-31%) / 3-day cume: $2.35M to $2.41M / Total cume: $52.9M / Wk 4

7th UPDATE, Saturday, 11:04 PM: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dropped roughly 14% to 16% tonight (some have it dropping 18%) to put its weekend gross to around $64M to $66M and that figures in a 20% drop for Sunday. It’s all about the math. Just a fantastic opening for Paramount and Michael Bay who together just breathed life into another franchise this summer. Some have called this Transformers with Turtles. turtlesWas watching this picture play out earlier this evening and it looked like it would drop about 16% to 17% … the $65M estimate was based on a 15% drop, so it’s going to score a bundle, and it will be much clearer in the AM.

In second place is Guardians of the Galaxy from Disney/Marvel which is expected now to take in maybe $42M to $43M as it looks tonight, so down maybe 54% in its sophomore frame. Also, a very good hold for this picture in considering the monster that Turtles became. A big surprise for everyone.

Warner Bros.’ Into the Storm is circling just around $6.25M today so putting it right in line with earlier estimates of about $17M. DreamWorks/Participant’s The Hundred-Foot Journey easily keeps its No. 4 standing with about $11M+ and Lucy, as expected, rounds out the Top Five with in its third weekend of release and should take about 9.38M for the three-day.

The other opener — Step Up All In (LGF) will tap into maybe $2.1M tonight for a weekend of around $6.5M. Meanwhile Get On Up from Universal, the James Brown biopic, is falling hard (down about 60%) in its second weekend and will only have a cume of around $23M after two weeks of play. That’s what it looks like tonight. More in the AM along with the chart.

turtles 16th UPDATE, Saturday, 8:56 AM: Paramount Pictures finally weighed in this AM and they are predicting lower than all other estimates on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, saying that they think the three-day will be $62M, so maybe they know something that every other distributor out there doesn’t; all others have it grossing a three-day of $64.5M to $65M+. The studio has its reptilian monster taking in $25.6M last night. The thing is, the CinemaScores for this is skewing incredibly well for the younger audiences … they note it themselves this morning that it has an A for kids, which is true: Under 18 which made up 27% of the audience yesterday gave it that grade and we are heading into a strong family moviegoing day.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-cgi5th UPDATE, Saturday, 6:58 AM: This morning the little Turtles movie that rose out of  a comic book 30 years ago before finding its way onto Saturday morning cartoons to begin building its kiddie audience reached even higher, logging $25.7M last night. This movie kept playing strong in late nights, which means, this weekend is going to be solid in the day and the late shows — a win, win for Paramount. With all theaters’ ticket sales weigh in, it’s now expected to land between $64.5M to $65.1M. That means that this revamped Michael Bay version of the franchise is going to have a higher opening weekend than all previous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opening combined when they debuted in the early 1990s ($57.8M). That’s when the reptiles were at New Line Cinema instead of Paramount. We’re still waiting for Paramount to weigh in, but that’s two for two this summer for Bay. Transformers 4 is going to hit around $243Mguardians2ndweekend after this weekend and has already chalked up $1B worldwide this summer.

Family audiences — which Paramount specifically marketed to — should fuel box office through today and tomorrow as the weekend is prime time for taking the kids out to the theaters. The downside to this as it heads into its second weekend is that it’s gotten bad reviews and it received a B CinemaScore last night which should affect its multiple.

RELATED: B Grade for ‘Turtles’ – What CinemaScores Mean And Why Exit Polling Matters

Meanwhile, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — as reported last night — will bring in around $42M+ over its three-day dropping about 55% in its second weekend out but it’s still finding its audience. The fantastic opening for Turtles is a surprise blow to the mid-section for Guardians, though. Of the new offerings, Warner Bros. Into the Storm will swim in with an estimated $17.8M to $18.1M, so it did a little better than its original tracking numbers. It took the No. 3 spot.

into-the-stormBoth this disaster movie and the No. four movie of the weekend — The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS) — have a decent per screen average. The Hundred-Foot Journey –which is a DreamWorks/Participant Films co-production distributed by Disney — will serve up around $11M+ this weekend for a per of around $5,700. The Helen Mirren-starrer garnered the highest CinemaScore of the newbies with an A. This picture may end up getting a fairly good multiple on word-of-mouth and adult-drawing pictures, especially those with strong female audiences, tend to hold better. Lionsgate’s Step Up All In stepped over the James Brown biopic Get On Up in its second weekend (-63%) to take the No. 6 spot with about $6.3M to $6.7M for the three-day. Ho-hum. Hercules had a better than expected night last night, raising it up a couple of notches in the box office Top Ten. A revised chart follows:

1). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,845 theaters / $25.7M Friday (includes $4.6M late nights) / 3-day est. cume: $64.5M to $65.1M+ / Wk 1

2). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 4,088 theaters (+8) / $12.3M Fri. / 3-day cume: $42M+ (-55%) / Total cume: $177M / Wk 2

3). Into The Storm (WB), 3,434 theaters / $6.4M Fri. (includes $800K late nights) / 3-day cume: $17.7M to $18.1M / Wk 1

4). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 2,023 theaters / $3.6M Fri. (includes $310K late nights) / 3-day cume: $11.5M / Wk 1

5). Lucy (UNI), 3,147 theaters (57) / $2.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $9.2M / Total cume: $97.2M / Wk 3

6). Step Up All In (LGF), 2,072 theaters / $2.6M to $2.8M Fri. (includes $375K late nights) / 3-day cume: $6.3M to $6.7M / Wk 1

7). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 2,896 theaters (-699) / $1.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.6M to $5.9M / Total cume: $63.6M+ / Wk 3

8). Get On Up (UNI), 2,469 theaters (+1) / $1.5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.8M to $5.1M (-63%) / Total cume: $22.7M to $23M / Wk 2

9). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 2,306 theaters (-977) / $1.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.4M / Total cume: $197.8M / Wk 5

10). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 2,280 theaters (-961) / $720K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.3M / Total cume: $52.9M / Wk 4

4th UPDATE, Friday, 10:50 PM: We have the latest estimates right now based on two more sets of late night grosses which puts Turtles anywhere from $58M to $61M and Guardians in the $40M to $42M range at the moment. The three other new pictures — Into The Storm, The Hundred-Foot Journey and Step Up All In – are right in line with earlier estimates (see Top Ten chart below). CinemaScores have been added below. It also looks like box office is up around 15% now from the same weekend last year, instead of 10%. Until the AM …

3rd UPDATE, Friday, 9:22 PM: Talk about putting Rocket Raccoon back on its paws — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started out in matinees strong and may end up taking in around $22M to $24M (which includes $4.6M from last night) today. That would give the Michael Bay production an estimated three-day total of about $55M to $60M+ to surprisingly (and easily) swipe the box office crown away from Guardians of the Galaxy after only one week. Some estimates have it around $53M to $58M, but methinks it will be a tad higher when family moviegoing goes full swing on Saturday and Sunday. The CinemaScore is a B though. With this and an expected $40M to $43M that Guardians is estimated to bring in this weekend, August’s box office continues to head upwards, with the Top Ten films expected to up around 10% from 2013’s $137.7M.

bWR.1280x720In its second weekend out, Guardians is expected to drop about 55% for a total take of $12.5M Friday (it doesn’t have the advantage of counting in its late nights), for a tidy $42M to $43M three-day. Its two-week cume should put it right around $177M+.

With Turtles climbing higher, who woulda thought that the 25 and and 35 year-olds would have propelled the franchise (which started out in a comic book 30 years ago) to this height. But kids grew up with it on Saturday mornings so they have soft spot for the Italian-named turtles. Turtles’ jB CinemaScore also reflects the critics’ opinions who have been calling it merely a soft-shell appetizer. As such, Paramount wisely kept it away from most reviewers until late in the game and its marketing department did a great job attracting the family audience. A high CinemaScore usually translates into a higher multiple.

1395682362000-1SNEAKPEEK-INTO-STORM-MOV-62983740After the dueling tentpoles, it’s a big step down. In third place will be Into The Storm, Warner Bros.’ tornado disaster pic which should blow in with $6M+ Friday and land a $16M to $17M+ weekend gross. It received a B CinemaScore. Next up is Disney’s The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren in a story about culture clashes and food fights (er, cuisine competition). The film, advertised heavily as being produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey and based on the best-selling novel, will take in around $3.4M tonight for a three-day gross of maybe $9.5M to $10.5M in its first week of play for DreamWorks/Participant. Better than had been hoped for. And a solid A CinemaScore.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEYIn fifth, should be the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi actioner Lucy from director Luc Besson and Universal with a $2.7M Friday and a 3-day of around $8.8M to $9M+ as it pushes ever so close to $100M. It should end the weekend at $97M and change. Ah, the power of the female action hero.

The other newbie is Step Up All In from Lionsgate which is getting down with only about $2.4M to $2.6M today to gross maybe $6M to STEP UP ALL IN$6.5M this weekend. It received a B+ CinemaScore tonight. That brings us to the other musical pic in the marketplace — the James Brown biopic Get On Up in its second weekend on stage. It’s dropping around 60% so its 3-day should only tap about $4.8M to $5.5M. That’s a snapshot of what it looks like now. Still early. Estimates will be adjusted as more numbers roll in. But here’s what the Top Ten chart looks like right now:

1). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,845 theaters / $22M to $24M Friday (includes $4.6M late nights) / 3-day est. cume: $58M to $61M+ / Wk 1

2). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 4,088 theaters (+8) / $12M+ Fri. / 3-day cume: $40M to $42M (-55%) / Total cume: $175M / Wk 2

3). Into The Storm (WB), 3,434 theaters / $6M+ Fri. (includes $800K late nights) / 3-day cume: $16M to $17.5M / Wk 1

4). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 2,023 theaters / $3.4M Fri. (includes $310K late nights) / 3-day cume: $9.5M to $10.5M+ / Wk 1

5). Lucy (UNI), 3,147 theaters (57) / $2.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $8.8M to $9M+ / Total cume: $97M / Wk 3

6). Step Up All In (LGF), 2,072 theaters / $2.4M to $2.6M Fri. (includes $375K late nights) / 3-day cume: $5.7M to $6.2M / Wk 1

7). Get On Up (UNI), 2,469 theaters (+1) / $1.6M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.8M to $5.5M (-60%) / Total cume: $23M / Wk 2

8). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 2,306 theaters (-977) / $1.27M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.5M / Total cume: $197.9M / Wk 5

9). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 2,896 theaters (-699) / $1.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4M+ / Total cume: $62M / Wk 3

10). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 2,280 theaters (-961) / $800K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.55M / Total cume: $53M / Wk 4

2nd UPDATE, Friday, 1:49 PM: No two ways about it, it’s a monster. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is looking like its on track for a $20M to $22M Friday, soaring to a new weekend estimate of $50M to $55M for Paramount Pictures. Others have it at $47M to $53M. Regardless, it is on track to be the weekend’s big winner. Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in its second weekend should feel the surge tonight, but it looks like it will gross in the low-to-mid $40M for the three day. It’s holding well though with maybe a 53% drop. Warner Bros.’ disaster pic Into the Storm is tracking at $14.5M to $18M for the weekend right now, and Disney’s The Hundred-Foot Journey from DreamWorks/Participant may dish up $7M to $9.5M. Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s romancer Step Up: All In looks right now to swing in with $6M to $9M. That’s how it looks now. Will update again as the day/night progresses, but a big congrats to Paramount and everyone involved in this picture which was marketed well to family audiences. It has been tracking strong among the 25 to 35 crowd — those kids who grew up on the Turtles on Saturday morning cartoons.

1st UPDATE, Friday, 7:42 AM: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles nabbed a healthy $4.6M in late-night Thursday screenings on 2,651 locations. In comparison, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy took in another $7.6M last night (it grossed $11.2M last Thursday), and has been logging stellar midweek grosses. Guardians so far has set industry records for the best Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of August. It logged the No. 1 non-holiday Monday with $11.7M, the No. 1 Tuesday with $11.9M, a record $8.8M on Wednesday and now with $7.6M last night, it has another record. Its total domestic gross is $134.3M as we head into the weekend. With kids out of school, great word-of-mouth and a soundtrack that is pushing its way up the Billboard chart as I type.

Paramount noted this AM that its TMNT bested Disney’s Maleficent, which took in $4.2M with its Thursday showings (Paramount reported Maleficent grossed $4M, but we caught the studio’s error). Paramount now expects a mid- to high-$40M three-day gross. Guardians could pull in over $40M, too. Tonight’s grosses will be very telling. It’s neck-and-neck for the No. 1 spot right now.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros’ Into The Storm grabbed $800K in late nights that began at 8 PM. TMNT started at 7 PM. For a comp, it’s Red 2, which also opened at 8 p.m. in late nights, was also a PG-13 and also grossed 800K; it was an action comedy (not a disaster film) from Lionsgate, but it went on to pull in $6.3M on Friday and ended up with an $18M three-day weekend. Into The Storm is on the same track.

TEENAGE-MUTANT-NINJA-TURTLES_JUNE-2014_MEGAN-FOX_In terms of the social media universe, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were neck-and-neck until Wednesday, when Turtles surged into the lead. They clocked 77M combined YouTube views, and the Twitter hashtag battle also flipped and is growing with 6,000 more than Guardians, according to RelishMix which measures the Big Three (nope, not the TV networks) but YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Most impressive is that the official trailer for TMNT has 34.8M views alone. Giving Vin Diesel’s 83M FB a run for it, TMNT star Megan Fox is a big social presence for the movie, promoting it to her 52M FB fans. She’s getting about 150,000 likes per post while a car selfie on Tuesday had over 2M likes and 15K shares. One behind-the-scenes photo she took in New York has more than 149,000 likes and 1,220 shares. The film shot in New York — over 70 days.

PREVIOUSLY, Thursday, 9:43 AM: Paramount Pictures’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. the second weekend of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. That’s how it was shaping up earlier in the week and tracking have the two still battling going into the weekend. Paramount has done a heck of a job selling this picture to families, but the sweet spot is that the 25-to-35-year-olds show a strong interest in seeing it. I remember when this property first debuted years ago, first on television and then ended up as a film waaay back when. It seemed like something that arose from AFM (like Toxic Avenger) but kids connected with it and those same kids now are now adults and seemingly can’t wait for it. It’s been a long, long while since one of these installments has made it into theaters — and the studio changed the release date many times — so anticipation is high among those kids who grew up on these anthropomorphic hard-shell, Italian named reptiles. The studio claims the budget is $125M but we have the final net negative cost quite a bit higher, like $150M+.

Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy-Rocket-Raccoon--e1400385304963So, Paramount insiders are thinking that it could do around $40M but it could go a bit higher … if it does, Rocket Raccoon is in serious trouble from toppling from its No. 1 perch. The strength of Guardians is that the word of mouth on this Disney/Marvel pictures is fantastic. In the end, it’s all about the math, so let’s look at the math: Guardians made $94.3M on the three-day which included that stellar $11.2M in late nights. So, if you subtract that, you have $83.1M for the three-day … now, let’s say it drops only 50% … that would put Guardians‘ weekend haul at $41.55M. It could be close. Ticket sales are neck and neck, too. Interesting to note that Guardians has racked up 32.45M midweek, an average of $10.8M per day since Sunday.

Turtles opens tonight in late nights at 7 p.m. tonight. It’s another Michael Bay production, by the way, but this installment is directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath Of The Titans, Battle Los Angeles). The Turtles also opens in 17 international markets which will represent about 25% of its international run. The key territories are Mexico and Russia.

Into-The-Storm-Silver-Screen-headerThere are three other pictures opening and there will likely be a big gap between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots and the No. 3 Into The Storm from Warner Bros. The studio is spending money on marketing but it doesn’t seem to be sticking. This disaster pic, reminiscent of its highly successful Twister, could take in maybe $15M to $17M. It goes into theaters tonight at 8 PM.

step-up-all-in03_FotorUnder that, we should have another significant gap again as Step Up: All In from Lionsgate (yes, there’s a 3-D version for this dance movie) bows tonight at 8 PM. Not much of an audience for this but the teen girls who might go for the romance factor. It will bow in 2,072 theaters this weekend.

The-Hundred-Foot-Journey-Movie-Wallpapers_FotorBoth that and the The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel-reminiscent The Hundred-Foot Journey, despite getting a boost in the marketing from using the names Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg (who produced the film along with Juliet Blake), is not expected to pull in more than around $8M to $9M. And the reviews haven’t been as strong as Disney would have liked. This DreamWorks/Participant Films’ offering is appealing to older females, so maybe it could have a better multiple. It’s directed by the wonderful Lasse Hallstrom. Also bows at 7 PM.