So, where do we start? Marvel‘s "Guardians Of The Galaxy" came into the weekend with good tracking numbers, with many expecting it to come near or even modestly past the previous August weekend record holder, "The Bourne Ultimatum," which opened to $69.3 million in 2007. But no one expected this.
‘Guardians’ took a staggering $94 million this weekend, becoming the third biggest opening of the year (behind "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"), and it also tallied $66.4 million overseas, for a total worldwide haul of $160.4 million (here’s our review). Not bad for a movie budgeted at $170 million. With an A-grade CinemaScore, and a quiet month of competition ahead, if ‘Guardians’ holds steady, it has a strong chance of cracking the magic $250 million domestic, which no other movie has done yet this summer so far (though ‘Age Of Extinction’ is on its way). In short, this is a huge opening, and Marvel knew they had something potentially big on their hands, so good on them for already setting a sequel for 2017 and developing an animated series too (here’s our interview with ‘Guardians’ director James Gunn).
Clearly, Marvel can do almost anything at this point. ‘Guardians’ highlights the strength of their marketing machine, their ability to take even the "quirkiest" property and make it accessible, while also making it highly enjoyable for audiences. So Kevin Feige, where’s that female led superhero movie?
Speaking of which, Scarlett Johansson‘s "Lucy" drew second place leading the rest of a mostly quietly box office. It fell nearly 60% from the top spot last weekend, and outpaced the only other wide release this weekend, the James Brown biopic "Get On Up." The film opened to a not bad, not spectacular $14 million, a bit less impressive that similar August drama entries like "The Help" or "The Butler." But the $30 million budgeted film will probably have the juice to at least break even if it can stick around the top ten enough, and certainly, in terms of choices for adults this summer, there’s not much out there and could fill a crucial niche for the next few weeks.
Elsewhere, the rest of the ten saw the regular roster of hangers on sticking around, taking huge drops thanks to ‘Guardians,’ but there are some things to note: "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" crossed the $1 billion worldwide mark this weekend (it’s just outside the top ten and is less than $10 million shy of hitting $250 million domestic). Richard Linklater‘s "Boyhood" continues to do strongly in limited release, earning another $2.5 million for a total of $7.5 million, becoming the third best performing movie in IFC Films history. Full totals below.
1. Guardians Of The Galaxy – $94 million
2. Lucy – $18.2 million ($79 mil)
3. Get On Up – $14 million
4. Hercules – $10 million ($52 mil)
5. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – $8.7 million ($189.3 mil)
6. Planes: Fire And Rescue – $6.4 million ($47.5 mil)
7. The Purge: Anarchy – $5.5 million ($62.9 mil)
8. Sex Tape – $3.5 million ($33.9 mil)
9. And So It Goes – $3.3 million ($10.4 mil)
10. A Most Wanted Man – $3.3 million ($7 mil)