Weekend Wrap-Up: Holdovers Have Staying Power

If I Stay poster

Of the three wide releases, none topped expectations and only If I Stay did decent business at the box office. It only managed third place, but it did have the best per theater average in the top twenty. This left holdovers atop of the box office chart with Guardians of the Galaxy returning to first place and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slipping to second place. Overall, the box office was down 20% from last weekend to $115 million. However, this was 4.7% higher than the same weekend last year, which is the more important metric. Unfortunately, 2014 is still behind 2013 by a large margin of $330 million or 4.7% at $6.91 billion to $7.24 billion.

Guardians of the Galaxy returned to first place after two weeks in second place earning $17.20 million. It became just the third film of the year to reach the $250 million mark and after the weekend was over, its running tally rose to $251.46 million. It will very quickly top The LEGO movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier climbing into first place for the year.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slipped to second place with $16.73 million over the weekend for a total of $145.54 million after three weeks of release. This is more than it cost to make, so as long as it does as well internationally as it did domestically, it will break even sooner rather than later. Also, this film should have solid merchandizing numbers, even when compared to similar films.

If I Stay was the best of the new releases opening in a third place with a respectable $15.68 million during the weekend. Its reviews fell below the 40% positive mark, which will likely have a negative impact on the film's legs. On the other hand, it very likely cost less than $20 million, and possibly less than $15 million, to make. If so, then this film will break even early in the home market.

Let's Be Cops landed in fourth place with $10.81 million over the weekend for a total of $45.06 million after 12 days of release. This is a bad movie, but it only cost $17 million to make, so it is well on its way to profitability.

When the Game Stands Tall didn't quite earn as much as expected with $8.38 million. Even so, it managed to grab fifth place thanks to weaker than expected competition. The reviews didn't live up to lowered expectations at just 18% positive and that will hurt its legs going forward. Additionally, Football isn't very popular internationally, so it likely won't be a break out hit outside of the United States. On the other hand, it likely didn't cost a ton to make.

The final new release of the week was Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, which bombed hard. It barely avoided the Mendoza Line with an opening of $6.32 million in 2,894 theaters for an average of $2,183. Its reviews were not good, but they were certainly better than this result was. Its legs will likely be really short due to the reviews and the Sequel Effect and the only positive effect on the legs is the weak competition over the next couple of weeks. That won't be enough.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find The Expendables 3 in sixth place with $6.49 million over the weekend for a total of $27.40 million after ten days of release. The film avoided a 60% drop-off, but its per theater average is barely more than $2,000, so it will likely start losing theaters very fast. The Giver was right behind with $6.43 million over the weekend for a total of $23.80 million. It fell just 48% during its sophomore stint, which isn't bad, but it isn't enough to save the film's financial chances.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-26