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August 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Does Guardians of the Galaxy have any more surprises for the industry? Could be. Last weekend, it opened with $94.3 million, far above analysts’ predictions. This weekend it faces off against the latest iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and while those same analysts, by and large, are predicting that the Turtles will take down the Guardians, they’re hedging their bets. Most of them are noting that the Turtles franchise has just about everything going for it. It’s produced by Michael Bay, who’s coming off another Transformers success. The franchise itself can boast about its massive brand recognition. It appeals to both kids, who follow the characters on Nickelodeon, and their parents, who watched their Saturday-morning adventures via syndication and later on CBS. Moreover, judging from the number of TV spots and billboards for the movie, Paramount has obviously spent a ton of money to market it. The reviews have been horrible (see separate item), but few people going to see a movie titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are likely to read a review of the film (and those who do are likely to scorn it). By the same token, Guardians of the Galaxy had almost nothing going for it a week ago, except mostly positive reviews, and still scored strongly. Box office pundits now figure that each film will earn $40-45 million and most give the edge to Turtles. Also this weekend, the disaster movie Into the Storm opens at a time when two big Hawaiian storms are in the news. That may offset the mostly terrible reviews it, too, has been receiving. Two other movies, Step Up All In and Hundred-Foot Journey are not expected to have much impact on the overall box office. Each is expected to earn slightly less than $10 million.