Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new 2014 box office champion. After a stellar opening weekend and extremely solid legs in the following weeks, Marvel’s swell Guardians of the Galaxy now stands as the highest grossing film of the year at the domestic box office with a grand total of $262.1 million. The year’s previous champion, fittingly enough, was Marvel’s other 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which totaled out at $259.7 million domestically. Though Guardians’ worldwide total of $507.4 million is still eclipsed by The Winter Soldier’s $714 million take, the galactic film’s international rollout will continue in the weeks to come, including a Chinese debut.
Hit the jump for more on the Guardians of the Galaxy box office standing, why it’s unlikely to remain the champion, and an overview of the full domestic Top 10 of the year thus far.
Though on paper Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a big risk as far as tentpole movies were concerned—largely unknown source material, lack of starpower, talking raccoon & tree—I think people underestimated just what it is that draws audiences to Marvel movies, and that’s Marvel itself. The studio is no longer just a studio, it’s become a brand, and as long as fans are satisfied with the content, Marvel can smack a “Marvel Studios” logo on just about anything and ensure that there will be a sizable turnout. Of course it helps if your film is actually good, and in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, audiences (both comics savvy and not) responded highly to the film’s solid mix of heart, humor, and fun, which accounts for its solid performance in the weeks following its initial debut.
And yet, it’s actually unlikely that Guardians of the Galaxy will remain the 2014 domestic box office champion for the rest of the year; there’s this little thing called The Hunger Games coming up in November. Not even the popularity of Iron Man 3, Frozen, or Man of Steel could top The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last year, as the Jennifer Lawrence-fronted sequel rocketed to the top of the box office with a $424 million domestic total without the aid of 3D surcharges, amazingly enough. This November’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 should have no problem topping the year’s domestic box office once again, and if the quality remains as high as it was with Catching Fire, then watch out.
Of course there are a few other potential box office successes on tap for the final quarter of 2014, most notably Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar, but The Hunger Games is a phenomenon of epic proportions and I just don’t see anything topping it. If this were 2004 I’d say The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies had a shot, but The Desolation of Smaug grossed nearly $50 million less than its predecessor last year so I don’t see a big uptick in domestic sales for this final installment.
Box office has been down overall for the summer of 2014, but what we’ve lost in quantity we’ve actually gained in quality, as this year’s crop of summer blockbusters was actually quite strong aside from a few blemishes here and there (ahem The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ahem). Take a look at the current Top 10 domestic totals for 2014 thus far below, and sound off with your thoughts on the box office landscape as it stands now in the comments section. Do you think Mockingjay can be beat?
|Rank||Title||Total Domestic Gross|
|1.||Guardians of the Galaxy||$262,142,000|
|2.||Captain America: The Winter Soldier||$259,766,572|
|3.||The LEGO Movie||$257,750,402|
|4.||Transformers: Age of Extinction||$243,950,966|
|6.||X-Men: Days of Future Past||$232,814,528|
|7.||Dawn of the Planet of the Apes||$204,419,991|
|8.||The Amazing Spider-Man 2||$202,853,933|
|10.||22 Jump Street||$190,267,743|