Weekend Box Office Forecast: NINJA TURTLES and MEG 2 Kick Off August as BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER Keep Rolling

Images courtesy Paramount; Warner Bros.

The final month of the summer movie season begins with July releases Barbie and Oppenheimer beginning to stretch their legs for holdover runs that are already well above expectations. Fighting to knock the pair out of the top two spots at the box office are Paramount and Nickelodeon, with their Seth Rogen-produced counter-programmer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem; and Warner Bros., diving back into the market with Meg 2: The Trench.

3rd Weekend Range: $57M-$66M

3rd Weekend Range: $28M-$33M

  • Coming off a historic weekend that saw Greta Gerwig’s Barbie claim the 7th highest ever sophomore frame performance, the film goes into its third weekend largely without competition from male-driven new releases. However, it will shed some screens and its already limited premium auditorium footing to both Turtles and Meg 2.
  • Oppenheimer just drew the 5th highest second weekend performance ever for an R-rated film. As a male-driven film, it faces slightly more competition than Barbie, though Oppenheimer‘s momentum and adult lean should continue to pad longevity at the box office. It also retains Imax auditoriums in its third weekend as demand for those screenings continue to generate sellouts.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Paramount Pictures

August 2, 2023 (WIDE)

3-Day Opening Weekend Range: $27M-$32M
5-Day Opening Weekend Range: $42M-$50M


  • With few animated offerings in late summer, Turtles has a fairly open market to carry it as a counter-programmer to the ongoing “Barbenheimer” phenom—with the multi-generational appeal of the franchise also likely to provide a boost.
  • From 102 reviews, the film boasts an incredible 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The 94 percent early audience score is also encouraging.
  • Presales are well outpacing those of Elemental and last summer’s DC League of Super-Pets.


  • Though it will claim some premium screen presence, that share will be limited by competition from Meg 2 and Oppenheimer.
  • As mentioned previously, it’s been a challenging summer at the box office for multi-decade-old IP, even when the film in discussion is strongly reviewed.

Meg 2: The Trench

Warner Bros. Pictures

August 4, 2023 (WIDE)

Opening Weekend Range: $22M-$27M


  • Riding in the wake of the first film’s sleeper box office run, this sequel could play to those seeking out a relatively light action film in the wake of more serious tentpoles to have opened recently—especially given the return of Meg star Jason Statham.


  • Concerns of direct competition have only escalated with Barbie and Oppenheimer both pulling strong across all four audience quadrants. The first Meg split almost evenly between men (52 percent) and women (48 percent), but 68 percent of its audience was over the age of 25—the wheelhouse of both “Barbenheimer” films.
  • Again, premium screen space will be limited. That could be negatively impactful for a sequel that already has to shoulder the weight of 46 percent and 43 percent critics’ and audience scores, respectively. Reviews for Meg 2 were not yet published at the time of this writing.

Current projection ranges call for an 11% to 20% decrease from last weekend’s $209.7 million top ten aggregate.

Film Studio 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, August 6 Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd
Barbie Warner Bros. Pictures $62,500,000 $475,000,000 ~4,000 -33%
Oppenheimer Universal Pictures $30,200,000 $232,800,000 ~3,500 -35%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Paramount Pictures $28,800,000 $43,900,000 ~3,800 NEW
Meg 2: The Trench Warner Bros. Pictures $23,400,000 $23,400,000 ~3,800 NEW
Haunted Mansion Walt Disney Pictures $11,000,000 $46,200,000 ~3,740 -54%
Sound of Freedom Angel Studios $8,000,000 $165,000,000 ~2,900 -38%
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Paramount Pictures $6,600,000 $151,600,000 ~2,759 -38%
Talk to Me A24 $5,300,000 $20,000,000 ~2,500 -49%
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Disney / Lucasfilm $2,400,000 $171,900,000 ~1,300 -40%
Elemental Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar $2,000,000 $149,300,000 ~1,200 -42%

All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.

Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.

The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.

Images courtesy Paramount; Warner Bros.
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