Turtles Rule Galaxy with Guardians; $100 million Top Two
By John Hamann
August 10, 2014
Finishing second this weekend is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, last weekend’s breakout success. After a big weekend, Guardians had a really strong Monday and Tuesday, bringing in almost $12 million on both days, before cooling off the remainder of the week. Guardians earned $12.3 million on Friday, off 67% from the Thursday/Friday combo, and 53% from its "true" first Friday. Over the weekend proper, Guardians earned $41.5 million – this summer’s first film to hit or even approach $40 million in its second weekend. All of the other $90 million openers this summer (Godzilla, Transformers, X-Men, Spider-Man) had drops that were 60% or higher. The last film to open above $90 million and have a weekend-to-weekend decline of less than 60% was of course Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It opened to $95 million and fell 57% to $41.3 million. After two weekends, The Winter Soldier had earned $158.9 million, compared to Guardians of the Galaxy, which has surprisingly earned even more at $175.9 million. Transformers: Age of Extinction had looked as though it would be the top domestic earner of the summer at about $245 million, but with a couple of good holds over what is likely to be a couple of quiet weekends, Guardians is going to pass it.
Third goes to the special effects monster Into the Storm, this summer’s attempt at recreating Twister. That earlier tornado movie opened to a surprise $41.1 million over the May 10, 1996 weekend as it helped to change summer box office forever by widening the summer schedule earlier into May. Twister this is not, as Into the Storm opened to an only okay $18 million, nowhere near the heights its stormy sibling achieved so many years ago. Still, for a film that cost only $50 million to make, it should pick up $40 million stateside and find solid success overseas. For comparison's sake, Twister earned as much overseas as it did at home, which was about $250 million. Reviews for Into the Storm weren’t great (20% fresh), but most critics had problems with the found footage story rather than the effects themselves. Into the Storm earned a mediocre B Cinemascore. With the low budget, this is simply risk-free filler for Warner Bros.
Fourth spot goes to The Hundred Foot Journey, the new product targeting the older female demographic. This attempt at counter-programming succeeded nicely thanks to strong promotion from producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. The Hundred Foot Journey earned $11.1 million from only 2,023 venues, giving it a decent per venue average of $5,498. That means that the drama had a better venue average that the effects heavy Into the Storm, which earned $18 million form 3,434 venues, giving it an average of $5,246. Made for $25 million, The Hundred Foot Journey was not a big hit with critics (64% fresh), but received an A Cinemascore, with adults 25-49 giving it an A+. It should have long legs here before seeing overseas numbers similar to Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($92 million overseas).
Fifth is Lucy, our number film before all this new business showed up. After a searing drop last weekend (58%), Lucy was looking to even out a bit this weekend, despite having $88 million domestic against a $40 million budget heading into the weekend. This time around, Lucy earned $9.3 million, off 49% from its second weekend. Lucy will have to wait a weekend to get to $100 million, when it becomes the 12th film of the summer to reach that total. So far, the Luc Besson flick has earned $97.4 million.