'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' holds off 'Expendables 3' at the box office

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' placed first at the box office again this past weekend over newer films like 'The Expendables 3' and 'Let's Be Cops,' while 'Guardians of the Galaxy' took second place.

Mark Fellman/Paramount Pictures/AP
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' stars Megan Fox (r.) and Will Arnett (l.).

Neither older action stars nor the stars of “New Girl” pretending to be policemen were enough to knock the summer hits “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” off the first and second spots at the box office, respectively. 

“Turtles” came in at number one at the box office this past weekend for the second time – last week it had come out on top ahead of the Marvel hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This weekend, “Turtles” grossed more than $28 million, according to Reuters, while “Guardians” took in more than $24 million. 

Meanwhile, the movie “Let’s Be Cops,” which stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., placed third with a gross of more than $17 million. “The Expendables 3” was behind “Cops” with a gross of more than $16 million.

“The Giver,” the film adaptation of the classic dystopian novel by Lois Lowry, came in at fifth place, grossing more than $12 million.

Neither “Cops,” “Expendables,” or “Giver” was particularly well-reviewed – Monitor film critic Peter Rainer called “Giver” “unduly do-goody… It’s pretty drab anyway. The movie never really sheds its chilly Orwellian vibe, and its chief idea – that only The Giver and Jonas can truly feel – is contradicted by the supposedly blanked-out citizens who, in fact, appear to have feelings indeed, albeit nasty ones. Philip Noyce, who has directed some marvelous movies (“The Quiet American,” “Rabbit-Proof Fence”) does his best to give this hoo-ha some snap, but he’s mired in the film’s pretensions.”

The film scored the highest out of the three on the review aggregator website Metacritic, with “Giver” holding a score of 46 out of 100. “Expendables” only garnered a score of 35 and “Cops” received a score of 27. 

 “Turtles” wasn’t well-reviewed, either – Washington Post reviewer Sandie Angulo Chen called it “fun… also forgettable” and USA Today critic Claudia Puig found it to be “charmless, dull, and derivative” – yet the film is still king of the box office. Second-place finisher “Guardians” was much more well-received, with Associated Press writer Jake Coyle finding it to have a “welcome, slightly self-mocking tone” and calling the casting of actor Chris Pratt “inspired,” though Coyle also found the movie to be “overstuffed” and the comedy to be “weak.”

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