Weekend Box Office: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Leads Labor Day Holiday

     August 31, 2014


As expected, the biggest movie of the summer – and as of yesterday, the biggest movie of the year – had no trouble holding on to first place this Labor Day weekend.  Guardians of the Galaxy took in an estimated $16.3 million through Sunday, which gave the blockbuster it’s third box office victory.  Although its wins were not consecutive, the Disney/Marvel pic is the only film to spend three weeks in first place this summer and just the fourth title to three-peat in 2014.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Guardians of the Galaxy $16,313,000 $274.6
2.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $11,750,000 $162.4
3.  If I Stay $9,260,000 $29.8
4.  As Above/So Below $8,342,000 $8.3
5.  Let’s Be Cops $8,200,000 $57.3
6.  The November Man $7,660,000 $9.35
7.  When the Game Stands Tall $5,650,000 $16.3
8.  The Giver $5,253,000 $31.5
9.  The Hundred-Foot Journey $4,603,000 $39.4
10.  The Expendables 3 $3,500,000 $33.1

Details after the jump.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-donatello-posterTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the movie that knocked Guardians of the Galaxy out of first place in its sophomore outing, will close the summer in second place.  That makes it the only film besides GotG to spend four consecutive weeks in either first or second place this season.  TMNT has earned a total of $162.4 million in North America, which means a final domestic gross of $175 million is now probable.  Interestingly, that would make it more profitable (at least in North America) than How to Train Your Dragon 2 – the movie that many expected to dominate the summer family scene.

After a second-place debut on Friday, newcomer As Above/So Below fell to fourth place on the weekend chart.  The horror pic is currently outpacing fellow R-rated release The November Man, which ranked sixth for the three day weekend.

After a disastrous debut last weekend, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was off more than 65% in its second frame.  Sin City 2 is still playing in all of its original 2,894 locations, which gave it an abysmal per-screen average of just $751.  This year has seen worse averages – February’s Vampire Academy, for example – but considering the sequel’s pedigree, it’s hard to imagine a bigger slap in the face to Robert Rodriguez.

Sin City 2’s per-screen average is of special note when considering Cantinflas, the Spanish-language biopic of Mexican actor and writer Mario Moreno that opened in twelfth place this weekend.  The Lionsgate release earned an estimated $2.62 million from just 382 locations, or $6,872 per screen.  That’s not quite as astounding as 2013’s Instructions Not Included, which, as you may recall, was a surprise sensation on Labor Day weekend last year.  The Mexican comedy (also distributed by Lionsgate) opened in fourth place a year ago with $7.8 million from 348 locations – over $22,545 per-screen.

This Labor Day weekend ended up behind 2013’s box office total by over 20% – considering the summer we’ve just concluded I wouldn’t expect any less.  Next weekend is not likely to improve 2014’s numbers, considering no major studio decided to gamble on what is traditionally the lowest grossing weekend of the year by releasing a new title.  That’s good news for Guardians of the Galaxy, though.  Four times on top of the box office is a record even The Avengers couldn’t reach.


Around The Web

    Well deserved! $300 million, here we come!

  • João Paulo

    Guardians is a beast, is like Iron Man back in 2008, but even more effective, because the movie will surpass 300 million in U.S. and maybe 700 million worldwide at the end of his run, this is nice.

    • etguild2

      Just keep in mind Iron Man made $318 million US, and $585 million worldwide when China wasn’t a major market…on a smaller budget, on the heels of the “Spider-Man 3,” “Silver Surfer,” and X3 debacles when Marvel Studios was an unknown quantity. I’d say they’re on par with each other.

      • João Paulo

        Yes, I agree, but still great numbers if you compares the others movie of this weak summer.

      • Nick

        Yeah it was also the first movie released by marvel studios, giving it considerable appeal. It was based on a very popular albeit not “a-list” character with a strong following. Guardians defied all of the odds with their pic. I mean 15% tops of the viewers that came out knew the source material. You can’t compare

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Haha, I think 15% is being reallllllly generous. Maybe 5% tops.

      • etguild2

        You really think the general public has any idea what Marvel Studios is? 19/20 people who walked into a theater in 2008 couldn’t tell you which studio was responsible for Daredevil, X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, or Iron Man. “Iron Man” was a huge risk following three pretty crappily received Marvel movies. “Marvel Studios” wasn’t a thing that registered with anyone in 2008, and Paramount never advertised it as a separate division….it took the same tack it did when it released Dreamworks Animation movies.

        People with kids will walk into “Big Hero 6″ this Fall and have no idea whether it’s Marvel Studios (it isn’t) or not.

      • Nick

        Big hero 6 is much more unknown than iron man. Silly comparison. Animated movies fall into a much different category. And marvel had been creating a well known general public brand with the Spider-Man movies and x men. The marvel lettering with comic clippings paging through was iconic by the time iron man came out. Iron man was a risk, that not the debate. But it had a popular cartoon prior. It had general awareness. Guardians of the galaxy didn’t even have awareness among most comicbook or movie fans.

      • Guest

        Yes…most moviegoers get who finance BIG HERO 6 versus IRON MAN 3…..yes. Run with it.

      • Guest

        You know what the bunk of this all is? @Nick and I could email and we could put the conversation here or not…

      • etguild2

        The point: a regular moviegoer in 2008 had no idea what Marvel Studios was.

      • Nick

        I have a sneaky suspicion that you’re mentally handicapped.

  • Floyd

    Great news for Guardians. Too bad for Sin City though. Both are great movies

  • Dan

    Just think if TMNT hadn’t overperformed and gotten the box office tally it deserved, Guardians could’ve been on top for SIX straight weekends. What a shame.

  • etguild2

    “Lucy” is kicking so much ass internationally, it’s likely to make $400 million worldwide, something “Edge of Tomorrow” and the “Taken” films haven’t managed. That also means, from a box office perspective, it’ll likely be more profitable than TMNT or “Godzilla,” which already have announced sequels (yes the merchandising is the decider obviously).


    I wonder if Besson is regretting that bats**t ending now…

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      If Crank has taught us anything, it’s that batshit endings aren’t necessarily a franchise killer.

    • mattinacan

      from a studio perspective, they are more concerned about domestic box office, they make a bigger profit.

      • etguild2

        Sure, and the domestic number is nothing to sneeze at either (it’s comparable profit wise to TMNT and Godzilla vs production budget). I’m not sure if the revenue arrangement here is the same; it’s a Eurocorp production, with Universal handling distribution.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Definitely not the same for Universal in that case, though it’s one of Europacorp’s biggest hits ever, and considering Besson owns the production company and directed the film, I’d be surprised if he didn’t do a sequel. Then again, it’s pretty much on par with The Fifth Element earning-wise, and Besson didn’t sequel that.

      • etguild2

        Besson’s on record saying no sequel (whether that means anything or not is debatable), and I can’t imagine how it would come about. Still, Universal will probably take home as much money from this movie as anything it’s released this year, just because the overall total is so much higher.

        The biggest winner? ScarJo. Outside of Angelina Jolie, no one person is responsible for raking in more money this year. WIth Will Smith Fading, Cruise/Depp struggling and Depp deferring, we may be about to enter an era where the top 2 or 3 salary commanders are women (Jolie, JLaw, ScarJo, Woodley are candidates).

  • mattinacan

    interesting that the number 1 spot is the best movie of the summer, and the number 2 spot is one of the worst movies of the summer. i would be amazed to see how much money a good tmnt would have made.

  • Steven

    Nothing against GOTG but this type of headline doesn’t help the trend of R rated movies flopping. Sin City, Sabotage, Locke, The Raid 2 and Snowpiercer all flopping.

    Unless its a horror or comedy (or has Scarlett Johansson ), R rated movies aren’t doing well.

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      The unfortunate truth for at least Locke, The Raid 2, and Snowpiercer is that they didn’t get wide theatrical releases. Those three played primarily in arthouse theaters and each only had about 2 weeks before their screens went to newer films. Sabotage and Sin City had proper chances to earn big, but they didn’t get very much positive press.

    • Nick

      That’s all about marketing. Raid 2 was poorly marketed. I’m not sure why fans of the first didn’t show up everywhere but near me, it was impossible to find a viewing but they had a commercial every 6 seconds on tv that gave nothing to bring new fans in. Sin city waited what 9′years? They waited until frank millers the spirit came out and put “egg all over my face”. Snow piercer? Seriously? Aside from fans like us that check movie sites for updates, seriously who else knew that a movie starring captain America was out? They didn’t promote or market well. Horror movies, shitty or not, know how to market.

    • d

      I wouldn’t say Snowpiercer flopped. It made 4.5 million but that’s not a terrible average considering it only played in 356 theaters. I heard it actually made more than that through On Demand, which seems to be where a lot of these limited releases make some decent money. I wouldn’t be surprised if Locke did well On Demand also. That seems to be the route for the more independent films these days, that way it’s available to the people that really want to see it, and the studios don’t have to put money into a tough sell for the general public.

  • Burns

    Sin City 2 is not gonna turn a profit for a while.

    • Nick

      It won’t ever, and I’m happy about that. Those idiots made us wait for so long. And they teased it and sucked the damn thought of it so dry that this was the only reasonable result. Studios should start getting the idea. You can’t just package us as a guaranteed audience without trying. I didn’t see the movie, maybe it was good, but they just assumed we’d show up like sheep for a movie that quite honestly is now out of date just because we showed up the first time a decade ago.

  • Manuel Orozco

    GOTG and TMNT are on a roll.