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Friday, March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024

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‘Barbie’ reaches $1 billion and defeats another box-office challenger: ‘Meg 2: The Trench’


Four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a giant, prehistoric shark were no match for Barbie at the box office this weekend.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Barbie” secured first place at the domestic box office for a third consecutive weekend, grossing $53 million for a North American cumulative of $459.4 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. Internationally, the blockbuster collected $74 million, bringing its worldwide total to $1.03 billion, per studio estimates.

Coming in at No. 2 is Warner Bros.’ “Meg 2: The Trench,” which launched at $30 million domestically. The sequel to 2018’s “The Meg” reached the high end of expectations, which ranged from $20 to $30 million in the United States and Canada.

Rounding out the top five at the domestic box office this weekend were Universal Pictures’ “Oppenheimer,” which added $28.7 million in its third frame for a North American haul of $228.6 million; Paramount Pictures’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” which opened to $28 million; and Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” which scared up $9 million in its sophomore run for a North American total of $42 million.

Helmed by Ben Wheatley, “Meg 2: The Trench” sees Jason Statham’s Jonas Taylor lead a team of explorers on a dangerous expedition to the depths of the ocean, where they are confronted by myriad creatures of the deep. Also among the ensemble are Shuya Sophia Cai, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Skyler Samuels and Cliff Curtis.

The latest installment of the “Meg” franchise was poorly received by critics, posting an abysmal 22% rotten rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The action movie also drew a B-minus grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“It’s an odd viewing experience, to have the second half of a movie not necessarily redeem the bland first half, but rather gain the nerve to be what it wants to be, leaning into the slippery silliness of a summer shark flick,” writes film critic Katie Walsh for Tribune News Service.

“With a blue drink in hand and movie-theater air conditioning blasting like salty sea gusts, there are worse ways to spend an August afternoon.”

Directed by Jeff Rowe, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” sees everyone’s favorite squad of lean, green fighting machines come out of their shells and save New York City from a mutant army. The sprawling, star-studded voice cast of the animated film features Hannibal Buress, Rose Byrne, John Cena, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, Ayo Edebiri, Giancarlo Esposito, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph and Post Malone.

The latest installment in the “Ninja Turtles” franchise got a head start at theaters this week, opening Wednesday and collecting $43.1 million over a five-day period in the United States and Canada. The coming-of-age comedy exceeded early box-office projections in the $30- to $40-million range.

Critically, “Mutant Mayhem” has been a huge success, scoring an excellent 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The family flick also fared well with moviegoers, receiving an A grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“This rambunctious action-comedy gives nostalgia-stoking, action-figure-selling, comic-book-derived franchise relaunches a good name,” writes Times film criti c Justin Chang. “To say that it’s the best Ninja Turtles movie I’ve ever seen is both perfectly accurate and arguably faint praise, given how many cowa-bungled mediocrities this aging franchise has spat out over the past 33 years.”

Opening in wide release next weekend are Purdie Distribution’s “Go West,” Mubi’s “Passages,” Bleecker Street Media’s “Jules” and Universal Pictures’ “The Last Voyage of the Demeter.”