Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows opened at number one, but did so with a disappointing $35.3 million compared to the original’s $65.5 million. X-Men: Apocalypse and Me Before You placed second and third, respectively. Alice Through The Looking Glass continues it’s disappointing run in fourth, while The Angry Birds Movie rounded out at fifth.
Box Office Top Five
It’s been an odd couple of weeks at the box office, filled with sequels to movies that weren’t particularly popular in the first place, and the numbers are reflecting that. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows may have opened at number one, but it made about $30 million less than it’s predecessor, 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Likewise, X-Men: Apocalypse, the sixth “official” entry in the X-Men franchise (minus a couple of Wolverines and a Deadpool), continues to underperform, with $22.8 million in its second week. The romantic drama Me Before You did solid business opening at number 3 with a box office take of $18.7 million against a budget of $20 million; this will be a minor hit for the studio. Alice Through The Looking Glass continues to do lousy business compared to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, mustering up just $11.3 million to place it at number 4 (the first film stayed at number one with $62.7 million in its second weekend). And finally, The Angry Birds Movie manages to stay in the Top Five for its fourth weekend, bringing in $10.2 million.
Here is a look at a few films that are opening on June 10.
The Conjuring 2 (R) 134 mins.
James Wan has become one of the most exciting directors working today. The man responsible for three of the most iconic horror films of this century (Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring) returns to his 70’s horror-throwback film centered on the paranormal investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are back as the Warrens investigate one of their most famous cases, The Enfield Poltergeist.
Fans of horror should be excited for this one. I personally consider The Conjuring the finest studio-released horror film of the decade, and Wan returning to that sandbox is mighty enticing. We might not see him do another horror film for a while (he saw great success transitioning to action with last year’s Furious 7, and he’ll be tackling Aquaman for DC next), so we need to savor what we can get. Expect this to win the weekend, too – the original film did gangbusters at the box office ($318 million for an R-rated horror film is terrific), and unlike many of the other sequels released this year, most people actually liked the original film.
Now You See Me 2 (PG-13) 129 mins.
Remember when I just said that this year is filled with sequels to movies that nobody liked in the first place? Well, here’s Now You See Me 2. The original film squandered a good premise (street magicians pulling off heists) with nonsensical plotting, flimsy characters, ridiculous twists, and unimpressive magic. Everything I’ve heard about Now You See Me 2 suggests not much has changed, though they did swap directors (and one main cast member) this time around; John Chu (the Step Up series and G.I. Joe: Retaliation) directs this time around, while Lizzy Caplan replaces Isla Fisher from the first film.
Chu is a good director who has made solid films with subpar material. G.I. Joe: Retaliation wasn’t exactly high art, but it was mostly fun, with at least one terrific sequence (Ninja Mountain, obviously). Based on how this summer’s going, I wouldn’t expect much business from Now You See Me 2 – audiences are getting smarter, and if you’re releasing a sequel to a movie that people didn’t like much in the first place, this is the year people are getting wise to that.
Warcraft (PG-13) 123 mins.
I’ve been hoping for good things from Warcraft. Not because I’m a fan of the games (I’ve never played), but I am a fan of director Duncan Jones. After delivering the stellar Moon and the very good Source Code, Jones has been spending the last several years deep in the realm of Azeroth. Unfortunately, critics are mostly negative on the film, criticizing its characters, a dense mythology that isn’t given room to breathe, and too much slavish devotion to the source material.
But it isn’t all bad for Warcraft fans! The movie is doing phenomenally overseas, breaking all sorts of records and even receiving the widest-ever release in China. Don’t expect the movie to do that well in America, but if it can keep it up overseas, it might not need Americans to help launch a major film franchise.
The Bottom Line
2016 is the year audiences have started to fight back. If people didn’t like a film the first time out, it stands to reason they’ll stay away for the second round. It’s why films like London Has Fallen, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Alice Through The Looking Glass, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows are doing so poorly; studios can’t just rely on box office receipts to tell them what they can franchise anymore – they need to find out what audiences are saying about the film, too.
That’s why The Conjuring 2 will win the weekend, and likely become a sleeper hit like the original. It’s a damn good film (I saw it yesterday, so I can confirm), and it’s the sequel to a damn good film. The Conjuring was a hit, but more importantly, it was a hit that people liked, wanted to see more of, and had a built-in launchpad for a franchise (Ed and Lorraine Warren are attached to a lot of real-life cases).
Movies To Look Forward To:
Finding Dory (June 17), Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24), Free State of Jones (June 24), The Shallows (June 29).