'Ninja Turtles' grosses $4.6 million in Thursday night showings

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' off to a fast start in box office

Moviegoers shelled out $4.6 million for tickets to see "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in its Thursday evening release.

Director Jonathan Liebesman's "Ninja Turtles" remake follows the turtles as they attempt to save New York City from Shredder and his evil Foot Clan, with help from reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett).

The Michael Bay-produced film surpassed the opening for summer family flick "Maleficent," which grossed roughly $4 million from its Thursday night showings in late May. 

Distributed by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, the film cost about $125 million to make. The studios estimate it will gross about $45 million to $50 million in its opening weekend.

As of Friday, 65% of audiences said they liked the "Turtles" remake, which earned a 19% on the website's "tomatometer."

Three other films, "Into the Storm," "Step Up: All In" and "The 100-Foot Journey," also debut this weekend.

However, according to people who have seen prerelease audience surveys, none of the other films debuting this weekend are expected to attract nearly as many moviegoers as "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and last weekend's box office winner "Guardians of the Galaxy."

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