"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows"
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

There was a lot of talk at the beginning of the year that 2016 was going to be a big year for the Hollywood box office, and this summer was going to be one of the biggest summers ever in history.

Well…it’s funny how things don’t work out as planned. All the analysts and predictors are now having second thoughts and recalculating their b.o. projections, because things are not working out the way they thought they would.

And one thing they’re learning is that, numbers can be deceiving. Even though, so far this year, there have been five films to reach the $300 million mark domestically, compared to only two at this same time last year, overall domestic box office totals are actually down by almost $600 million compared to last year.

And there are three major, super expensive films that are already being written off as losers this summer: Universal’s “Warcraft,” which I wrote about last week, Warners $180 million “The Legend of Tarzan” (was there anyone, and I mean ANYONE, asking for yet another Tarzan movie?), and Paramount’s who’s-brilliant-idea-was-this? totally unnecessary remake of the classic film “Ben-Hur.”

And the rest of the summer doesn’t look too promising. Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Dory” is guaranteed to be a hit, as will Universal’s “Jason Bourne” and “The Secret Lives of Pets”,” and Sony’s shark in the water thriller “The Shallows” looks to be a sleeper hit. But “Independence Day: Resurgence’ looks like a non-starter, especially since Will Smith is not in it (and was anyone waiting for a sequel anyway?), and the new “Star Trek: Beyond” film is predicted to be the lowest grossing of the recent reboot of the franchise.

And this weekend has proven to be another major disappointment – specifically for Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” The previous reboot of TMNT back in 2014 opened with $65 million and went on to gross $191 million domestically, and another $300 million overseas; so naturally the studio thought they had stumbled onto a major new tentpole franchise to make a ton of money from, and immediately greenlit a sequel.

However, they should have rethought that, since, even though “Out of the Shadows” was the number one film this weekend, it pulled in just over half of what it did the last time, in its opening weekend, with $35 million.

But things are even worse for “X Men: Apocalypse” which dropped a whopping 66%, to land in second place with $22.3 million. Once again Fox has potentially destroyed another Marvel franchise they own, like they did last year with “The Fantastic Four.” What will the studio do? Sell back the franchises to Marvel? Or try to “reboot” them yet again?

And while Disney is having a spectacular year so far, not every Disney film is a winner, with “Alice Though the Looking Glass” likely to become their biggest loser of the year. Last week it opened poorly; and this weekend it dropped some 60% to make $10.6 mil, for a total of $50.7 million. But with “Zootropia” and “The Jungle Book” both having grossed a billion worldwide, and “Finding Dory” sure to do very well, Disney can afford an “Alice” write-off.

The one bright spot was Warner’s modestly budgeted (under $20 million) doomed romance “Me before You,” which grossed just over $18 million.

Also “Money Monster” has a worldwide gross of over $55 million.

1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows    Par.    $35,250,000
2) X-Men: Apocalypse    Fox    $22,325,000        Total: $116,498,232
3) Me Before You    WB    $18,270,000
4) Alice Through the Looking Glass    BV    $10,691,000    Total:     $50,772,597 
5)The Angry Birds Movie    Sony    $9,775,000    Total:     $86,677,726
6) Captain America: Civil War    BV    $7,591,000  Total:     $388,940,157
7) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising    Uni.    $4,700,000    Total:     $48,560,225
8) Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping    Uni.    $4,630,000
9) The Jungle Book     BV    $4,247,000    Total:     $347,469,661
10) The Nice Guys    WB    $3,520,000    Total:     $29,120,850
11) Love & Friendship    RAtt.    $2,132,476    Total:     $7,014,850
12) Money Monster    TriS    $1,810,000    Total:     $38,249,410