Weekend Movie Sweepstakes Dominated by Viacom

Source: Paramount Studios; Viacom Inc.
As anticipated, Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) and its Paramount Studios’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” held on to its weekend box-office supremacy for a second week, outselling the latest installment, “The Expendables 3,” from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF). The action picture starring Sylvester Stallone even finished behind another newcomer, “Let’s Be Cops” from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA).

Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” sold an estimated $28.4 million in tickets at 3,980 theaters. In its two weeks of release the movie has posted cumulative revenue of $117.6 million.

The number two grossing movie of the weekend was “Guardians of the Galaxy” from Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) Marvel Studios. “Guardians” sold about $24.7 million in tickets at 3,697 theaters and has posted total revenue since its release of $222.3 million.

“Let’s Be Cops” earned an estimated $17.7 million for Fox at 3,094 theaters. Since its opening on Wednesday, the film has posted cumulative revenues of $26.1 million.

“The Expendables 3” was expected to sell about $24 million in tickets in its opening weekend, but the film managed just $16.2 million at 3,221 screens. This is the weakest opening ever for the franchise, even though the film was rated PG-13 compared with the R ratings on the first two movies.

The other new film for the past weekend was “The Giver,” based on a young-adult novel by Lois Lowry, and it features Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. The film was expected to sell about $16.5 million in tickets for The Weinstein Company, but could manage just $12.8 million after playing on 3,003 screens.

With two weekends still remaining in August, the month is on track to be the best August ever for domestic box office sales. Receipts are expected at around $1 billion on the strength of both “Turtles” and “Guardians.” For the entire summer season, however, box office receipts are down about 15%, according to a report at USA Today.

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