Despite getting roundly shredded by critics, the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie is off to a strong start at the box office. "TMNT" took in $25.6 million Friday, doubling the Friday take of last weekend's champion, "Guardians of the Galaxy."
The Friday haul for the Michael Bay-produced reboot from Nickelodeon Movies puts it on track to gross around $65 million for the weekend.
The Turtles have proven to be quite resilient over the years, beginning life in the pages of a black-and-white independent comic book before jumping to an animated TV series and their first live action film in 1990. In total, they've had three previous feature films, three animated TV series and a live action TV series.
The new film has been trashed by critics, with a lowly 20% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But that hasn't stopped new and old Turtles fans.
With its big opening, "TMNT" is the second big box office hit in a row for the month. Last weekend, "Guardians of the Galaxy" opened to an August record of $94.3 million. The Marvel space romp grossed $12.3 million Friday for a total of $146.7 million in its first week of release.
Other films opening this weekend include the found footage bad weather thriller "Into the Storm," which grossed a solid $6.5 million considering its lack of big-name talent. "The Hundred-Foot Journey," the comedy-drama starring Helen Mirren and boasting Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey among its producers, grossed $3.6 million.
"Step Up: All In," the fifth film in the "Step Up" franchise, grossed $2.8 million, for an expected $10 million weekend. This is the lowest opening yet for a "Step Up" film. The original, released in 2006, is still the franchise's biggest hit, grossing $65.3 million. However, the film is already doing well overseas, where it has grossed $26 million already.
In limited release, "What If," the romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, grossed $49,400 on Friday after opening on 20 screens.