Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" pulled in a strong $4.6 million from Thursday night previews last night. That's about on par with the $4.2 million which Disney fantasy "Maleficent" took back in May.
That film went on to a $69 million opening weekend. 'Turtles' isn't expected to bow as high, but is estimated to score somewhere around $45-50 million for its domestic debut.
Whether it can knock Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" off its top spot is another story. The quirky space opera adventure has been pulling in record-breaking weekday numbers all though this week and even if it has a steep drop-off, which seems unlikely at this point, it will could well retain the top spot.
One point of difference is the film's reviews. Whilst 'Guardians' drew raves, 'Turtles' has earned downright pans. It scored just 19% and a 4.1/10 on Rotten Tomatoes along with a 34/100 on Metacritic.
Also opening this week is moderately-budget disaster effort "Into the Storm" which nabbed $800,000 in Thursday previews - indicating a likely $16-18 million opening weekend.