Weekend Report: 'Guardians' Easily Tops Weak Labor Day Releases
A slow Summer at the domestic box office came to a quiet end this weekend.
Guardians of the Galaxy held on to first place, while the two newcomers (As Above/So Below, The November Man fell short of $10 million.
Over the three-day weekend, the Top 12 earned $88.2 million, which makes this the second-worst weekend of the year so far.
Guardians of the Galaxy added $17.1 million, which ranks eighth all-time among fifth weekends. It was off just one percent from last weekend, which is a great Labor Day hold; that's even better than last year's Lee Daniels' The Butler and We're the Millers (down 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively). Over the long weekend, Guardians earned $22.9 million, which ranks third all-time among Labor Day weekends.
Including Labor Day, the 10th movie from Marvel Studios has now earned $281.2 million at the domestic box office. Even with the Summer season coming to a close, Guardians is still on track for at least $305 million total.
In second place, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eased 29 percent to $11.9 million. A surprise late-Summer hit, Turtles has grossed an impressive $166.3 million through Monday.
If I Stay held on to third place with $9.3 million. It was off just 41 percent, which is a respectable drop for a movie targeted toward young women; in comparison, The Fault in our Stars fell 69 percent. Through 11 days, If I Stay has taken in $32.3 million.
Playing at 2,640 theaters, found footage horror movie As Above/So Below opened to $8.6 million this weekend. It earned 37 percent of that on Friday, which is a somewhat high share for a holiday weekend. As a result, it wound up in between past Labor Day horror movies Apollo 18 ($8.7 million) and Shark Night 3D ($8.4 million).
For the four-day weekend, As Above/So Below wound up in fifth place with $10.3 million.
As Above/So Below was clearly cheap to make, and it doesn't seem like Universal spent a ton to market it. Still, big studio movies opening at over 2,500 theaters really ought to be cracking $10 million for the three-day weekend—especially when they're in a front-loaded genre like this.
With a "C-" CinemaScore and an audience that's 64 percent under the age of 25, As Above/So Below is going to drop like a rock from here; it would be shocking if it closed above $25 million.
Let's Be Cops rounded out the Top Five with $8.3 million (down 23 percent). Through Monday, the R-rated comedy has earned $59.5 million.
The November Man took sixth place with $7.9 million ($10.1 million four-day). That opening is noticeably lower than similar Labor Day releases like The American ($13.2 million), The Debt ($9.9 million) and Lawless ($10 million). Including its Wednesday and Thursday grosses, The November Man has now earned $11.8 million.
The movie's audience was 55 percent male and 83 percent over the age of 25. They awarded it a solid "B+" CinemaScore. Still, it would be surprising if this ultimately wound up over $25 million.
Lionsgate/Pantelion's Cantinflas opened to $2.66 million at 382 theaters ($3.4 million four-day). That's a fraction of the $7.8 million that Instructions Not Included earned on the same weekend last year; still, this is an above-average result for a limited release exclusively targeted toward Hispanic moviegoers.
In its second weekend, Sin City: A Dame to Kill for fell 65 percent to $2.22 million. Through 11 days, its earned just $11.45 million—less than the first Sin City earned on its first day.
The 30th anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters took in $1.76 million from 784 theaters this weekend. That's nearly identical to the Raiders of the Lost Ark re-release ($1.67 million), though Raiders was only playing at 267 IMAX theaters.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opened to a massive $47 million in China this weekend. That ranks fourth all-time for an imported title behind the last two Transformers movies and Iron Man 3. Apes has now earned over $611 million worldwide; with Japan still to come, it will almost certainly reach $700 million.
Lucy added $31.2 million, which brings its total to an impressive $151.6 million. It had solid opening in Mexico ($4.3 million), Japan ($2.6 million) and Brazil ($2.4 million).
Guardians of the Galaxy earned $19.7 million overseas this weekend. It opened in first place in Germany with $7 million; that's 74 percent higher than Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but 17 percent lower than Thor: The Dark World. The Marvel movie has taken in $273.1 million overseas so far, and still has Japan, Italy and China on the way.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles added $13 million for a very early total of $112.1 million. Its only major opening was in South Korea, where it took in $2.6 million. That's a somewhat disappointing result, considering the fact that Megan Fox did a major press tour in Seoul last week. The Turtles still have openings in Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.K. on the way.
Into The Storm took in $12.9 million this weekend. It opened to $5.2 million in South Korea—twice as much as Ninja Turtles—and also had a decent start in Italy ($1.2 million). Unfortunately, it was underwhelming in Brazil ($1 million) and Spain ($600,000). To date, Into the Storm has earned $47.7 million overseas.
'Guardians,' 'Turtles' Lead August To Record $1 Billion Haul
Coming off a very weak July, the domestic box office got a lift in August thanks to strong performances from Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Overall business came in at a record-setting $1.02 billion—a whopping 10 percent above last August's all-time level.
August wound up being the second biggest month of the Summer, ahead of May and July and a bit behind June. That's very unusual—August is typically the lowest-grossing month of the Summer by a large margin. This helps explain why, even with August's strong performance, the Summer as a whole wasn't particularly impressive.
Total domestic box office during the season was $4.06 billion, which is down 15 percent from last year and is the lowest total since 2006. Factoring in ticket price inflation, this was the worst Summer since 1992.
For August—and for the year as a whole so far—Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy was the highest-grossing movie with over $275 million. Originally pegged as a risky venture for Marvel, Guardians could wind up as their highest-grossing non-sequel ever ahead of the first Iron Man ($318.4 million). Even if it doesn't make it there, it will be the biggest August release ever ahead of 1999's The Sixth Sense ($293.5 million).
Opening in the shadow of Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't much of a problem for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which earned $162.6 million through the end of August. While that's not on par with producer Michael Bay's Transformers movies, it's still a noticeable step up from fellow Paramount toy franchise G.I. Joe. Ninja Turtles is on track for at least $185 million total, and a sequel is moving forward with a June 2016 release date.
In a distant third place, Let's Be Cops scored $57.4 million through its first 19 days. That's a fairly impressive tally for a low-budget comedy lacking any serious stars (Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. are best-known for TV's New Girl).
Among July holdovers, Scarlett Johansson's Lucy was tops with $56.6 million. Despite mixed word-of-mouth, the movie still wound up holding well through the month, and has now earned more than Angelina Jolie's Salt.
Into The Storm rounded out the Top Five with $42 million. That's a so-so result for this tornado thriller, though its hard to imagine how it could have done much better against such steep competition.
There were a few other decent performers in August. After a quiet opening, The Hundred-Foot Journey has had excellent holds; through the end of the month, the Helen Mirren cooking drama has netted $39.6 million. Before the end of its run, it should tip over $50 million. Meanwhile, teen romance If I Stay took in $29.9 million in its first ten days, which is a solid result for a low-budget young-adult adaptation.
Along the same lines, The Giver was a disappointment considering how popular the book is, though it still seems poised to wind up over $40 million.
More so than other months this Summer, August delivered a handful of bombs. The Expendables 3 earned just $33.2 million through its first 17 days, which is less than half of its predecessor's tally over the same period of time.
Meanwhile, James Brown biopic Get On Up flopped with just $29.6 million, while Step Up All In earned just $14.2 million (and will close with less than half as much as its predecessor).
The biggest bomb of August—and possibly the Summer as a whole—was Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. It arrived in theaters over nine years after the original Sin City, and apparently lost a lot of goodwill during that time: its $10.8 million 10-day gross is less than the first movie made in one day.
David Archuleta, Pikachu, Disney, Frozen and Smash Bros fan :D