Daily Box Office Analysis
By David Mumpower
August 12, 2014

Images not courtesy of The Walking Dead.

Those of us anxiously awaiting the comeuppance of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be disappointed yet again. The latest iteration of Splinter’s adopted turtle sons finished in first place on Monday. And it earned a very solid weekday total in the process. It’s time to face facts, folks. This one is a blockbuster.

The latest intensely hated Michael Bay project earned $4.6 million during Thursday pre-release screenings. People expected that early crowd to be the diehard fanatics. It was a fluke, right? On Friday, another $21 million worth of customers enjoyed the movie, causing people to obsess on how frontloaded it would be over the rest of the weekend. How many fans of this franchise could there be?

On Saturday, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles increased 6% from Friday (after Thursday sneaks are removed). The film was estimated at $65 million, causing outcries about the obviously exuberant weekend estimate. Only, it was not. TMNT actually grossed $65.6 million over the weekend, $17.8 million of which occurred on Sunday. The only logical explanation here is that Michael Bay is the world’s greatest living hypnotist.

Now, we know the Monday box office result for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it too is impressive. The quirky action flick was the number one film in North America for the fourth straight, amassing $6.7 million in the process. I have mentioned before in this forum that a blockbuster’s goal should be gross at least 10% of its weekend total on Monday, 20% for Monday and Tuesday. More is better, obviously, but those are the parameters for a film to avoid frontloading concerns. $6.7 million reflects 10.2% of the weekend total of $65.6 million. Also, with $72.2 million already in the bank, it has already exceeded many of the gloomier predictions for the film’s entire domestic run.

The 10.2% hold is nowhere near as strong as the 12.4% Guardians of the Galaxy claimed last week, but that was one of the strongest first Monday holds in recent memory. It does, however, match the 10.2% of How to Train Your Dragon 2 and it approaches the 10.5% of Transformers: Age of Extinction. As always, bigger numbers are harder to sustain in terms of percentage hold, which means that TMNT is doing better than How to Train Your Dragon 2 but not as well as the two biggest releases of the summer.

Given that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is behaving like a family film, its Monday hold relative to the Hiccup and Toothless sequel is extremely impressive. That film has a current multiplier (current box office divided by opening weekend) of 3.44. Due to the impending end of the summer box office season and the larger numbers, TMNT has little chance of matching that type of hold. After one day, however, it also cannot be ruled out. That fact in and of itself is a win for #TeamBay. I will say what we are all thinking. Michael Bay is the devil, and this summer is a Damn Yankees scenario.

Many of you are still more interested in the second place film yesterday, Guardians of the Galaxy. After the Marvel title fell a respectable 55%, it grossed $5.3 million on Monday. That performance reflects a 54% drop from last Monday’s $11.7 million. The story of Star-Lord has now grossed $181.9 million domestically. I ran some calculations for the movie this morning in anticipation of today’s column. As of right now, the film is headed for a final domestic take of $263 million, give or take a bit. That would be more than enough to make it not just the number one film of the summer but also the number one film of the year to date.

As a reminder, there were three other new releases this past weekend. Feel free to pick and choose the ones you consider punchlines as opposed to real topics of conversation. The “best” of them was Into the Storm, the number three film on Monday. It failed the 10% test by grossing $1.7 million on the heels of a $17.3 million opening weekend, bringing its grand total to a modest $19 million.

Yes, the 9.8% hold is close to that line of demarcation but we are discussing a film with barely a quarter of the opening weekend of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In order for this title to demonstrate legs, it would need a much, much stronger hold than 9.8%. Then again, common sense alone should identify that Into the Storm was never going to be anything more than a one weekend wonder at the box office.

The news is much better for the fourth place film. The Hundred-Foot Journey follows an $11 million debut with a first Monday of $1.3 million. Using exact daily and weekend totals rather than the rounded figures, the Monday hold was a bit under 11.6%. Given the demographic targets for The Hundred-Foot Journey, it should be expected to be leggy anyway. All Monday’s results do is confirm those expectations, at least for one day.

Meanwhile, BOP’s Dan Krovich was already heartbroken when his beloved Step Up franchise died on the vine this past weekend, earning a franchise-low $6.5 million. It is the only Step Up movie to date to gross less than $10 million during its opening weekend. The Monday news is further punishment for him, as the $679,861, while technically better than a 10% hold, is indicative of an undesired title. Step Up All In will not cross the $10 million mark until Friday, and it may gross less than $15 million during its entire domestic runs. I am afraid that most of the fans of this franchise have grown up and moved on to other Channing Tatum franchises.