They say that there are no new stories, just a constant recycling of the same themes. Even so, it’s fairly depressing that two films this week feature exactly the same pivotal plot device. Both Warcraft and this tiresomely energetic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel claim that old chestnut – the portal to another dimension – as their third act climax.
Although the intended audience might not be as jaded as an older viewer, it’s worth noting that both Big Hero 6 and Mr. Peabody & Sherman have rolled out the same device in the last few years. Kids will respond to the film, but the relentless dumb exuberance is unlikely to win many adult fans.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 topped the US box office over the weekend but with a result that is 46% lower than the previous film.
The action follow-up, starring Megan Fox and Laura Linney, made $35.3m, compared to the original’s $65.6m. That film went on to make a surprise $493.2m worldwide, a number the latest adventure will struggle to replicate.
It’s the latest sequel to underperform this summer, after X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass scored lower than expected openings the weekend before. Bryan Singer’s superhero instalment plummeted in its second week with a 66% drop with less than $120m thus far. It will struggle to match the $160m total of the critically reviled X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Luckily for Fox, the film has been opening well overseas with a $400m global total to date.
It’s even worse news for the Johnny Depp-starring fantasy which has made just $50m after two weeks of play. Alice in Wonderland made more than double that in its opening weekend and went on to make $1bn globally. The sequel will struggle to make a third of that. It’s not all bad news for Disney though, with Zootopia becoming the second film of 2016 to cross $1bn worldwide. It’s now the second highest-grossing original film of all time.
Elsewhere, romantic weepie Me Before You overperformed, bringing in $18.3m from a $20m budget. The film managed to combat the controversy that has plagued it for the past few weeks with disability groups unhappy with its ending.
The weekend’s other new release, music satire Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, was a washout, making just $4.6m, one of the worst results for a wide release this year.
US box office, week beginning 6 June 2016
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: $35.3m - NEW
2. X-Men: Apocalypse: $22.3m. Total: $116.5m
3. Me Before You: $18.3m - NEW
4. Alice Through the Looking Glass: $10.7m. Total: $50.8m
5. The Angry Birds Movie: $9.8m. Total: $86.7m
6. Captain America: Civil War: $7.6m. Total: $388.9m
7. Neighbors 2: Serority Rising: $4.7m. Total: $48.6m
8. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping: $4.6m - NEW
9. The Jungle Book: $4.2m. Total: $347.5m
10. The Nice Guys: $3.5m. Total: $29.1m