Sunday, August 3, 2014

'Guardians of the Galaxy' blasts off with stellar $94 million opening at weekend box office

One of the biggest box office question marks of the year was Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. In the months before the film's release, people wondered whether or not the unknown and untested characters would hurt the film. Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel's first big test, and wow, did they knock it out of the park. The space epic opened with $94 million in the US, which is the highest opening for an original Marvel property since Iron Man opened with $98 million in 2008. Guardians took in $11.2 million on Thursday night, which is pretty front-loaded, but managed to stay strong throughout the weekend. The film also received an "A" Cinemascore, which means that this one is here to stay.

The fact that Guardians of the Galaxy opened only $1 million shy of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is astonishing. It's a testament to the Marvel brand and to Disney's marketing skills. At this point, Marvel can make just about anything and it will make money. I have a feeling that the success of this movie will help many other original Marvel superhero films get the green light. They're the most powerful studio in Hollywood right now and they can do just about anything. I'm betting that Avengers: Age of Ultron debuts with at least $250 million, if not more. Bravo to Marvel (by the way, I'm seeing Guardians tomorrow and will have my review up at that point).

Universal's Lucy finished in second place this weekend with $18.2 million. The 58% drop for the film is actually pretty good considering the film's terrible Cinemascore. Lucy has taken in $79.5 million so far and will definitely push past $100 million. This is definitely one of the summer's biggest success stories.

Another film from Universal actually finished in third place this weekend and that film was the James Brown biopic Get On Up. The Tate Taylor-directed biopic took in $14 million this weekend, which is not bad. That's slightly higher than June's Jersey Boys, but significantly less than 42, Lee Daniels' The Butler and Tate Taylor's own The Help. The film did receive an "A" Cinemascore, which means that the film will most certainly have good legs throughout the month. I, for one, would not recommend seeing the film. It's a choppy mess and the PG-13 rating does the film no good. Skip this one and wait for a better musical movie. I'm sure it will be here soon.

Hercules finished in fourth place with $10.7 million, which is a 64% drop from last weekend. Even though the film received a decent "B+" Cinemascore, Hercules had stiff competition this weekend and will likely fizzle out at the box office. I'll have a review up by Tuesday for this one. Hercules has grossed $52.3 million so far. Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes finished in fifth place this weekend with $8.7 million. The blockbuster action flick has taken in $189.3 million so far and will probably cross the $200 million mark in the new feature.

In sixth place was Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue, which grossed $6.4 million this weekend. The film has disappointed at the box office so far and currently stands at $47.5 million in the US. Overseas box office isn't great either, so I think that it's safe to say that Disney should be done with this franchise. The Purge: Anarchy fell to seventh place this weekend and made another $5.5 million. The horror/action hybrid has now made $62.9 million, which is more than its predecessor. Look for The Purge 3 to hit theaters next summer.

Sex Tape finished in eighth place this weekend with $3.5 million. The comedy flop has now grossed $33.9 million and will struggle to finish with $40 million. With lackluster international grosses as well, Sony will definitely be taking a loss on this one. In ninth place was And So It Goes, which took in another $3.3 million this weekend. The Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton comedy definitely has shown some legs and will likely be around for a little while longer. It's total currently stands at $10.4 million. And finally, A Most Wanted Man rounded out the top ten with $3.3 million. The spy flick has now grossed $7 million.

Also, Boyhood finished in eleventh place with $2.5 million. The IFC Films release has made $7.5 million so far and has shown no signs of slowing down. This film is going to be here for a while. In the limited release world, Fox Searchlight's Calvary dominated the competition with $72,800. Not great opening, but it's decent. And finally, Transformers: Age of Extinction crossed the $1 billion mark this weekend and is currently the 18th highest grossing film of all time.

Next weekend sees the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Step Up All In, Into the Storm and The Hundred-foot Journey. Here are my predictions:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy- $49.2 million
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- $38.9 million
3. Into the Storm- $16.1 million
4. The Hundred-foot Journey- $13 million
5. Get On Up- $8.6 million
6. Lucy- $8.3 million
7. Step Up All In- $7 million
8. Hercules- $5.6 million
9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes- $4.5 million
10. Boyhood- $3 million

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