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Paranormal thriller 'The Conjuring 2' tops Friday box office; 'Warcraft' fills China theaters

Los Angeles Times

A sequel about married paranormal investigators, "The Conjuring 2," ascended to the top of the Friday box office, outperforming runners-up "Warcraft" and "Now You See Me 2." The three debuts supplanted last week's box-office leader "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows," which landed in the fourth spot, followed by the Warner Bros. romance "Me Before You." "The Conjuring 2" earned an estimated 16.4 million overnight. The New Line/Warner Bros. film exceeded expectations while on its way to a projected 40 million opening weekend. Though hardly a disappointment, the sequel has a steep climb to reach the tally of its predecessor, which ultimately earned nearly 320 million worldwide. Audiences liked the movie, which stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as believers working to exorcise demons from a home in North London. Like its predecessor, the second installment earned an A- from the polling firm CinemaScore.

'Ninja Turtles' sequel will battle 'X-Men' for the top box-office spot

Los Angeles Times

Hollywood is bracing for another tepid weekend at the box office after a disappointing Memorial Day holiday. Paramount Pictures' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" sequel is likely to bring in 35 million to 40 million from its domestic debut as it battles 20th Century Fox's "X-Men: Apocalypse" for the top of the charts. That would be considerably less than the opening for its 2014 predecessor, which grossed a strong 65 million in its first three days. Such an outcome would be more lackluster news for the film industry, which is limping away from a four-day weekend that clocked in well shy of analysts' predictions. Weighing down results was Walt Disney Co.'s sequel "Alice Through the Looking Glass," which grossed a sluggish 34 million Friday through Monday, or roughly half of what observers had projected.

'X-Men' and 'Alice' make for underwhelming Memorial Day weekend

Los Angeles Times

Although the Memorial Day weekend was expected to be a massive draw with films like Fox's "X-Men: Apocalypse" and Disney's "Alice Through the Looking Glass" debuting, neither picture attracted the audience numbers analysts projected and the industry hoped for. This weekend holiday is usually a bright spot for the industry, but this year's three-day total is projected to nab an estimated 162 million to 163 million and over four days, 203 million to 204 million. This is a far cry from 2013's record Memorial Day weekend, led by "Fast & Furious 6," which pulled in a massive 314.2 million over four days. Overall, however, box office numbers are up about 5% from last year's Memorial Day weekend, which brought in 194.8 million over four days. This is well below analyst projections, which predicted more than 100 million through Monday.

'Turtles' take over box office, 'Me Before You' surprises and 'Popstar' doesn't pop

Los Angeles Times

Following a less-than-stellar Memorial Day weekend, this weekend's box office brought more lackluster news for the film industry as Paramount Pictures' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows," Universal Pictures' "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping," and "Me Before You," from Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, debuted at cineplexes nationwide. The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" sequel took the top spot with an estimated 35.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. Though meeting analyst expectations of 35 million to 40 million, it came in significantly behind its 2014 predecessor, which grossed a strong 65 million in its first three days. "We're happy" with this performance," said Megan Colligan, the studio's head of distribution. "Our movie definitely played more family than the last, [but] the nostalgic audience that came out last time, didn't pop out [in the first weekend] this time."

'Dory' overwhelms 'Independence Day,' 'Shallows' surprises

FOX News

NEW YORK – The "Finding Dory" tidal wave overwhelmed the sputtering sequel "Independence Day: Resurgence," as the alien-invasion redux was drowned out by the popular Pixar release in North American theaters. In its second week, "Finding Dory" easily remained on top with an estimated 73.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. That far surpassed the 41.6 million opening of "Resurgence," which debuted well off the pace of its 1996 original. The first "Independence Day" opened with 50.2 million, or about 77 million in inflation-adjusted dollars. Of the week's other debuts, the Blake Lively shark thriller "The Shallows" rode a wave of good reviews to a better-than-expected 16.7 million for Sony.