Box office update: 'Turtles', 'Guardians,' ambush 'Expendables'

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Image Credit: Industrial Light & Magic

The Expendables might have an army of action stars, but the third installment in the testosterone-fueled franchise is looking a little weak, opening behind both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy on Friday.

Expendables 3 (Cinema Score: A-) took in an estimated $5.88 million Friday from 3,221 North American locations. A franchise low (Expendables 2 took in $10.5 million on its first Friday, and Expendables earned $13.3 million in 2010), it looks like Sylvester Stallone and his buddies might even miss the modest $20 million goal for the weekend. These early numbers could indicate that the online leak might have impacted the theatrical earnings more than initially expected.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took the first place spot again with an estimated $7.92 million Friday with Guardians of the Galaxy close behind. Guardians also passed the $200 million domestic mark thanks to its $6.95 million Friday. Both movies could actually be fighting for the No. 1 spot by the time the weekend closes out.

Fox’s comedy Let’s Be Cops (Cinema Score: B), which has been in theaters since late Tuesday night, earned $5.63 million Friday and is on track for a $16+ million three-day weekend. Finally, The Weinstein Company’s The Giver (Cinema Score: B+) brought in $4.74 million its first day in theaters, making a mid-teens weekend likely for the young adult adaptation that cost in the mid $20 millions to produce.

Here’s the top five:

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — $7.92 million ($97.2 million domestic total)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy — $6.95 million ($204 million domestic total)
3. The Expendables 3 — $5.88 million (new)
4. Let’s Be Cops — $5.63 million ($14 million domestic total since Wednesday)
5. The Giver — $4.74 million (new)

Also of note: DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 blew past the $500 million mark at the global box office thanks in no small part to Friday’s opening in China, which brought in $5.6 million. The well-reviewed pic is now the highest grossing animated movie of the year and in the top 10 earners across the board. “This is a tremendous result for such a deserving, critically acclaimed film,” said Chris Aronson, President Domestic Theatrical Distribution, 20th Century Fox in a statement. “We look forward to riding Dragon 2 to greater box office heights.” Dragon 2, which has grossed $170.6 million domestically to date, also opens in Italy this weekend.

Check back tomorrow for more weekend estimates.

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