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Weekend Wrap-Up

Guardians Crowned Kings of Summer Box Office

By John Hamann

August 24, 2014

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Although estimates may change when the actual numbers are released on Monday, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is currently listed in second place. TMNT earned another $16.8 million, off 41% compared to last weekend. Paramount’s newest franchise has held up better than I expected since opening, considering it had to play side by side with Guardians, a film that is competing for a similar demographic. The Turtles movie cost $125 million to make, and with a domestic gross so far of $145.6 million, it definitely is on track to being a moneymaker for the studio. The film is also doing well overseas with a total so far of $93 million, and some significant expansion still to come.

Third is If I Stay, the film most analysts thought would be #1 this weekend. After a Thursday where it earned a rocking $1.1 million, it couldn’t turn that volume into a big weekend success. Without the Thursday number included, the Friday for If I Stay came in at $5.7 million. Given the trend from Thursday to Friday, it only made sense that it would follow a similar pattern to The Fault In Our Stars, which earned more than half of its weekend gross ($48 million) from Thursday previews and Friday gross ($26 million). In the end, If I Stay earned $16.3 million from the weekend box office, a great result considering the tearjerker cost only $11 million to make.

If I Stay will wind up in the second tier of the YA novel adaptations, away from films like Divergent or The Fault in Our Stars, and more toward the The Host and The Mortal Instruments. Critics were mixed (42% fresh at RottenTomatoes), with some giving a thumbs up based on the performance by Chloë Grace Moretz, while the rest gave it a thumbs down due to the manipulative story. Audiences didn’t mind the manipulation, awarding the film an A- Cinemascore. The Fault in Our Stars earned an A, but still collapsed after opening.




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Fourth goes to the Fox comedy Let’s Be Cops, which surprisingly drops only one spot at the box office this weekend. After debuting last weekend to $17.8 million over three days last weekend and $26.2 million over five, Let’s Be Cops held quite well considering, earning $11 million and dropping 38%. All of a sudden, this small, $17 million comedy has pulled in an excellent $45.2 million after only 12 days of release. While it’s not going to make anyone rich, Let’s Be Cops could be the start of a small franchise.

Fifth goes to When The Game Stands Tall, the latest in a litany of faith-based movies, this one involving football. When The Game Stands Tall earned $9 million for Sony, not bad considering it was released to only 2,673 venues. The Game cost Sony $15 million to make, and with an A- Cinemascore, it could be picked up and carried down the field by grass roots word-of-mouth from its target demographic.

Finishing in sixth place is The Giver, last weekend’s YA novel adaptation. After opening to $12.3 million, The Giver gave back 45% this weekend, earning a small $6.7 million. Made for $25 million, this Weinstein release will at least earn its budget back stateside, as The Giver has pulled in $24.1 million so far.


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