Paramount Pictures / 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

"TMNT" Powers Past "Guardians" Despite Poor Reviews

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" nabs the top box office spot for the second weekend in a row. How is it doing so well with such poor reviews?

By Jay Strubberg | August 17, 2014

Despite poor reviews, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" snuck past fellow sci-fi flick "Guardians of the Galaxy" to nab the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row.

Michael Bay's animation-heavy "Ninja Turtles" reboot pulled in $28.4 million over the weekend which lifted its total U.S. ticket sales past $117 million. 

"Guardians of the Galaxy," meanwhile, finished strong with $24.7 million, pushing its total three-week haul to $222 million domestically.

The "Ninja Turtles" two-week reign comes despite the blockbuster getting blasted from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and receiving mixed audience reviews.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" continual dominance makes sense. It's flashy, it's action-packed, it's, well, Marvel. And, it's also receiving great reviews. So how is "Ninja Turtles" managing to hang on to the top spot?

A writer for Rolling Stone says TMNT has been a cash cow for decades, and this is only the latest iteration of it.

Ever since the original 80's cartoon, built with a toy-selling "recipe for success shared by He-Man, G.I. Joe, and the Transformers," the turtles have been specifically designed for "capturing the hearts, minds, and allowances of yet another generation."

Couple that with a healthy dose of nostalgia from '80s kids, and there you go.

A Forbes film critic has a much different outlook. He says TMNT's "less is more" marketing campaign provided just the right amount of tease.

He points out Paramount held off releasing its trailer while other summer blockbusters like "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Godzilla" flooded the market. 

Then, as another Paramount film, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" hit the big screen for a $100 million weekend debut, they brought the "Turtles" trailer out of its shell. The effect: Leonardo, Donatello and the gang were teased in front of a much larger audience.

"Expendables 3" was perhaps the weekend's biggest surprise, slipping to fourth behind the comedy "Let's Be Cops." The cast filled with aging action stars left theater seats unfilled, pulling in a sluggish $16.2 million — easily the worst debut of its three films.

Dr. Larycia Hawkins speaking at a press conference.WATCHLIST
Mdiaz1436 / CC BY SA 4.0

Professor Who Stood With Muslims Parts Ways With Christian School

mariobonifacio / CC BY SA 2.0

People Who've Passed The Bar Are More Likely To Drink At The Bar

The mugshot for Leon Teague.WATCHLIST
Chicago Police Department

Cat Gets Doused With Boiling Water In Viral Video, Man Charged

Rescue workers search the waters off of the Los Angeles coast for three missing people.WATCHLIST

2 Small Planes Collide Off LA Coast, 3 People Missing

Various types of fentanyl patches are pictured.WATCHLIST

Fentanyl Abuse, Overdoses On The Rise In New Hampshire

The $18,000 gold bar is pictured next to a paper clip for scale.WATCHLIST
Bavarian Police

Lucky Teenager Gets To Keep $18,000 Bar Of Gold She Found

New York City Fire Department officials at the scene of the crane collapse in lower Manhattan.WATCHLIST
New York City Fire Department

Officials Investigating What Caused A NYC Crane To Collapse, Killing 1

Customers wait outside of a Denny's.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Denny's Settles Los Angeles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Image of Johnny Cash and the tarantula species named after him.WATCHLIST
Joel Baldwin / Chris Hamilton et al.

There's A Tarantula Species Named After Johnny Cash

A crane collapsed in the Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan.WATCHLIST
Twitter / @FDNY / @nycoem

At Least 1 Killed, Multiple Injured In New York City Crane Collapse

Photo from the U.S. Marshals Service wanted poster of Blake Fitzgerald and Brittany Nicole Harper.WATCHLIST
U.S. Marshals Service

1 Dead, 1 Injured After Wanted Couple Engages In Shootout With Police

Michael MooreWATCHLIST
Nicolas Genin / CC BY SA 2.0

Filmmaker Michael Moore Says He's In The ICU For Pneumonia

President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Shawn Thew

President Obama's New Long Shot: A $10 Tax On Oil

Adnan Syed's photoWATCHLIST

'Serial' Subject Adnan Syed Has A 'Last-Ditch' Shot At A New Trial

A scientist examines mosquitos.WATCHLIST

Gulf Coast States React To Growing Cases Of Zika Virus

A picture of a baby's swollen toe.WATCHLIST
Facebook / Scott Walker

A Dad's Warning On Facebook About Baby's Toe Goes Viral

Abby Wambach With BarbieWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Christian Petersen / Makers

The Latest Barbie Is Modeled After An Olympic Athlete Who's A Lesbian

Maurice White during a post-Grammy party in 2005.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

Earth, Wind & Fire Co-Founder Maurice White Has Died

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., smiles while flanked by Nancy Retzlaff, chief commercial officer for Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Shkreli invoked his 5th Amendment right not to testify to the committee that is examining the prescription drug market. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mark Wilson

'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli Didn't Say Much At Congressional Hearing

An illuminated sign is seen outside the University of Central Florida's Progress Energy welcome center.WATCHLIST
keone / CC BY SA 2.0

63K Social Security Numbers Stolen In University Hack In Florida

Deray Mckesson attends the LinkedIn Next Wave Event at The Empire State Building in September 2015.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Joe Kohen

What Are Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay's Chances Of Being Mayor?

Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys is led to the sidelines by team officials after being sacked by the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 26, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

Quarterbacks May Not Be The Hottest Football Players After All

Sign in Okay, Oklahoma.WATCHLIST

This Oklahoma School District Allows Employees To Carry Guns

Photo of Tony Burch witnessing the birth of his children on FaceTime.WATCHLIST
AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale

Army Dad Overseas Watches Quadruplets Born On FaceTime

Bartek Kucharczyk

Daryush 'Roosh' Valizadeh Cancels Neomasculinity Meetups Over Safety

The City of Flint Water Plant is illuminated by moonlight on January 23, 2016 in Flint, Michigan.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

300 Plumbers Install Water Filters In Flint, Michigan, For Free

The cover features Instagram model Sarah McDaniel posing as if she's taking a Snapchat selfie.WATCHLIST
Playboy / Theo Warner

Playboy's First Non-Nude Edition: Snapchat And Instagram Models

Ammon Bundy at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Ammon Bundy, Other Oregon Militia Members Indicted

A woman picks up a tax form.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Chris Hondros

IRS Computer Systems Suffering 'Hardware Failure' During Tax Season

Women walk their babies in the park.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Sean Gallup

Here's What People Are Saying About That New CDC Guideline