They say January is the dumping ground for movies, but they tend to forget that late August/early September is a pretty piss-poor time at the box-office as well. And so it should be no surprise then that this past weekend amounted to the slowest box-office of the entire year. Worse, it was absolutely pitiful; the lowest grossing weekend at the box-office in at least ten years. You already knew the 2014 box-office was hurting —it’s been a dreadful season financially, not one domestic film cracked the $300 million mark— but this was a terrible ending to an underwhelming summer.
What should have tipped you off was that only one film opened in wide release: “The Identical,” a movie you had barely heard of, flopped spectacularly (it’s a faith-based musical drama about an Elvis-like figure, oy). Freestyle Releasing opened the movie in almost 2,000 theaters, but the movie earned more than $2 million and couldn’t even crack the top 10.
Marvel’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy” stayed at number one for the fourth weekend (though not consecutively) and could only take it $10.7 million. That’s a pretty low figure for the #1 slot, but that would be indicative of the slow weekend, not the movie. The picture has now made $294.5 million domestically, which means that the coveted $300 million mark will be surpassed either next weekend or the one afterwards. The movie has grossed $586 million worldwide in six weeks of release and hit several milestones this weekend.
For one, the film outgrossed “Iron Man” domestically and also has become the 6th highest grossing Marvel movie worldwide (5th highest domestically). Mind you, “Iron Man” ran for 22 weekends. In the U.S., ‘Guardians’ has outgrossed every single Marvel movie except for the three “Iron Man” films globally. When all is said and done, ‘Guardians’ will likely be the third highest grossing Marvel film worldwide. And the movie has outperformed “Man Of Steel” domestically. We’re talking a Superman movie, the most iconic super hero of all time. ‘Guardians’ has also become the all-time top grossing movie to come out in August.
So Marvel’s on a roll. It’s a testament to the the brand that an obscure comic book property populated by B-list stars could be a huge hit. Sometimes all you need at the end of the day is a good movie. And with the fourth weekend at #1, the film joins the ranks of “The Dark Knight,” “Avatar” and “The Hunger Games,” the only movies to accomplish such a feat in the past decade. And ‘Guardians’ has still not even been released in China. $700 million is easily conceivable, since the film surely will surely cross $600 next weekend.
“Forrest Gump” arrived on IMAX for its 20th anniversary, but it couldn’t move the needle; the film only grossed $405,000 on 337 screens (why IMAX??). Elsewhere, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” cracked the $300 million mark worldwide, and it has yet to hit a lot of major international territories. “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” has received a belated major uptick internationally after opening successfully in China. The movie has earned $642 million worldwide and counting. Scarlett Johansson‘s “Lucy” has now earned over $313 million worldwide —it’s another film receiving an after-the-fact boost internationally after other major territories responded well.
“Let’s Be Cops” might be the sleeper comedy hit of the summer. The little movie that could has now grossed $66.5 million. While $100 million seems doubtful, this movie has outperformed most expectations. Meanwhile Richard Linklater‘s “Boyhood” has grossed a whopping $20 million, exceeding even the wildest of expectations. It is now the 2nd highest grossing film IFC has yet released (it will stay behind “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”). Two months ago, “Boyhood” looked like it would languish as only critically acclaimed movie, but Paramount is getting behind it on DVD and a major Oscar campaign is forming. Expect it to be a contender.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $10.16 million ($294.5mil)
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $6.5 million ($174.6mil)
3. If I Stay – $5.75 million ($39.66mil)
4. Let’s Be Cops – $5.4 million ($66.5mil)
5. The November Man – $4.2 million ($17.8mil)
6. As Above/So Below – $3.72 million ($15.5mil)
7. When The Game Stands Tall – $3.7 million ($23.4mil)
8. The Giver – $3.59 million ($37.8mil)
9. The Hundred-Foot Journey – $3.2 million ($45.6mil)
10. Lucy – $1.9 million ($121.2 mil)