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TMNT sequel lacks cowabunga! at box office

Associated Press Associated Press 6/06/2016 Lindsey Bahr

Turtle power isn't all that strong the second time around but not all is bleak at the US box office.

While many of the season's sequels continue to struggle, the healthy debut of the romantic drama Me Before You proved that there is room for more than superheroes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows won the box office, according to comScore estimates on Sunday, but its estimated $US35.3 million ($A47.91 million) debut is not exactly cause for a celebratory pizza party.

The $US135 million production from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies comes just two years after the studios rebooted the property. The 2014 movie performed surprisingly well - opening to $US65.6 million and going on to gross $US493.3 million worldwide - despite lacklustre reviews.

While lower in turnout, those who did show up liked this film far better than the first, according to exit polls.

Out of the Shadows doubles down on the fan elements with the introduction of a number of villains from the '80s cartoon. But it was a bit too late for some who turned out for the first. The studio noticed a drop in attendance from the "nostalgia" audience of 25 to 34-year-olds this time around.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is just the latest in a string of underwhelming openings for sequels this northern summer movie season, which runs from the first weekend in May through Labor Day. Some of the lacklustre showings include Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and even X-Men: Apocalypse, which fell a hefty 66 per cent in its second weekend in theatres, earning $US22.3 million for a second-place finish.

In a marketplace saturated with sequels, the romantic tearjerker Me Before You stood out from the pack and performed quite well because of it, earning $US18.3 million for a third-place finish. The film, based on Jojo Moyes' bestselling novel, has gotten mixed reviews from critics, but audiences, who were 81 per cent female and 53 per cent over the age of 35 gave the film a solid A CinemaScore.

Meanwhile, the Lonely Island mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, earned a disappointing $US4.6 million to take eighth place.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, $US35.3 million ($34 million international).

2. X-Men: Apocalypse, $US22.3 million ($84.4 million international).

3. Me Before You, $US18.3 million ($US7.7 million international).

4. Alice Through the Looking Glass, $US10.7 million ($US30.9 million international).

5. The Angry Birds Movie, $US9.8 million ($US16.7. million international)

6. Captain America: Civil War, $US7.6 million ($US4.2 million international).

7. Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising, $US4.7 million ($US2.4 million international).

8. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, $US4.6 million.

9. The Jungle Book, $US4.2 million ($US3.7 million international).

10. The Nice Guys, $US3.5 million ($US5.5 million international).

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