Weekend Wrap-Up: Guardians Grab Top, But Summer Ends on a Down Note

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Labor Day Weekend was dominated by holdovers. The two new releases were As Above, So Below and The November Man, which opened in fourth and sixth places respectively. Guardians of the Galaxy remained in first place over the weekend and climbed into first place for the year in the process, overtaking fellow Marvel Film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Overall, the box office fell 4% from last weekend down to $110 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 11%, which is troubling. Year-to-date, 2014 is now behind 2013 by a 4.5% margin at $7.07 billion to $7.40 billion. This is the weakest post-Labor Day weekend running tally since 2008 and that's before you look at ticket price inflation. With ticket price inflation, you have to go back to 2005.

On Friday, Guardians of the Galaxy overtook Captain America: The Winter Soldier for top spot on the yearly box office chart. Over the weekend, the film topped expectations earning $17.08 million / $22.91 million over the three-day / four-day weekend for a running tally of $281.20 million. It is on pace to reach $300 million before it drops out of the top five. It is unheard of for an August release to do this well. At this point, Marvel could make a movie about their craziest super hero (Squirrel Girl, perhaps?) and it would be a hit.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles matched expectations nearly perfectly with $11.92 million / $15.62 million over the weekend. Its running tally is now $166.28 and it is currently in second place on the daily chart.

If I Stay remained in third place with $9.31 million / $11.77 million over the weekend for a total of $32.33 million. The film has already made enough to cover its entire production budget and it is working on its P&A budget now. This is great news, but it isn't all rosy, as the film had the second worst weekend-to-weekend decline in the top ten down 41%. Granted, the film's reviews are not good, but they are not as bad as this drop-off would indicate.

As Above, So Below opened in fourth place over the three-day weekend with $8.63 million for a total opening of $10.28 million. It only cost $5 million to make, so the studio has already recouped that much; however, there's some really bad signs for its future. First of all, its reviews are just 31% positive and the genre isn't known for long legs. Already the film has fallen from second place on Friday to ninth place on Monday. That's a really bad sign for this coming weekend.

Let's Be Cops rounded out the top five over the three-day weekend with $8.29 million, while adding in Monday it pulled in $10.37 million. With a running tally of $59.49 million after three weeks of release, the film has made enough to pay for its $17 million production budget and if it can get to $75 million in total, it will likely cover its P&A budget as well.

The November Man missed the top five with $7.91 million over the three-day weekend and $10.11 million over four. Adding in Wednesday and Thursday gives the film a six-day total opening of $11.80 million. Weak reviews won't help its legs, but the reports have the studio selling the rights to enough international markets that this might be enough to break even.

Looking in on the sophomore class, When the Game Stands Tall fell just 28% to $6.01 million over the three-day weekend and $8.16 million including Monday. Its total box office is $18.83 million after eleven days of release. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For had a terrible weekend down 65% to $2.22 million. Even adding in Monday, it only made $2.86 million, which would have been a disastrous decline. After eleven days of release, the film has pulled in $11.45 million, which is less than most people thought it would open with.

One final note, Edge of Tomorrow reached $100 million just before the weekend. It became the 22nd film to reach the century mark. Unfortunately, the film cost $178 million to make, so it will need help on the home market to break even.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-09-03