Weekend Wrap-Up

Guardians Crowned Kings of Summer Box Office

By John Hamann

August 24, 2014

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Seventh is The Expendables 3, which continues its crash and burn this weekend. Over its debut weekend, the Stallone sequel flopped with a $15.9 million debut. It continues its free fall this weekend with a 58% drop and take of only $6.6 million. Its foreign take is not even likely to save it now, as it debuted overseas to about $20 million last weekend. The domestic tally has now reached $27.5 million, all against a production cost of about $90 million.

That means that way down in eighth is Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, as we have our second consecutive weekend with an out-and-out flop. Yes, after Expendables 3 quickly folded last weekend, it’s time for another sequel to implode. I knew something was up when Thursday numbers weren’t reported until well after If I Stay’s came out. They were awful, with the film earning less than half a million from previews. Friday wasn’t much better, as A Dame to Kill For earned only $2.6 million – but more like $2.2 million with the Thursday box office removed. Over the weekend, Sin City 2 didn’t come back, earning a terrible $6.5 million from 2,894 venues. Considering the original opened to $29 million in 2005, the Weinsteins have to be scratching their heads this morning.

Why didn’t it work? The most common reason I hear is that Robert Rodriguez waited too long to bring the sequel to the screen. Right after the original was released, we were told another was coming, and coming, and coming – then almost a decade passed. I also thought the marketing was soft, and there was no reminder of what a great film the original was. The film's quality was also a contributing factor, as reviews came in at only 43% fresh compared to the original’s 78%, while the B- Cinemascore might as well be an F. The budget for the film is estimated at $60-$70 million, so unless something weird happens, this one is going to take a huge loss.


Ninth is The Hundred Foot Journey, as the Helen Mirren drama is one of the few bright spots in the top ten this weekend. The film from Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey earned another $5.6 million this weekend, off 22% from the previous frame. While it’s not going to blow the roof off anything, the small film with a budget of $22 million has now earned $32.8 million stateside, and is just starting to warm up overseas.

Into the Storm rounds out the top 10, as it earns $3.8 million, down 52% from last weekend. The Twister wannabe has earned just $38.3 million domestically, and its international tally is a slight $18 million so far. Since the budget was a relatively small $50 million, Warner Bros. isn't going to take much of a hit, but it's still not ever going to be considered a wild success.

The box office has taken a licking over the last two weekends, but it is still managing to tick ahead of last year. The top 12 films this weekend pulled in $105.4 million, which is still a little bit ahead of last year, when The Butler enjoyed its second weekend on top and Mortal Instruments flopped, leaving the top 12 with $90.1 million. Next weekend brings November Man with Pierce Brosnan and horror flick As Above, So Below, which means Guardians may have another shot at #1 next weekend.

Top Weekend Box Office for 8/22/14-8/24/14 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Guardians of the Galaxy Disney $17,631,000 - 30% $251,884,857
2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PARAMOUNT $16,800,000 - 41% $145,609,806
3 If I Stay Summit Entertainment $16,355,000 New $16,355,000
4 Let's Be Cops Fox $11,000,000 - 38% $45,246,168
5 When the Game Stands Tall Sony $9,000,000 New $9,000,000
6 The Giver Weinstein Co. $6,730,000 - 45% $24,100,538
7 The Expendables 3 Lionsgate $6,600,000 - 58% $27,518,177
8 Sin City: a Dame To Kill For Weinstein Co. $6,477,000 New $6,477,000
9 The Hundred0foot Journey Disney $5,562,000 - 22% $32,750,204
10 Into the Storm WARNER BROS. $3,800,000 - 52% $38,301,384
11 Lucy $3,800,000 - 31% $38,301,384
12 Boyhood IFC Films $1,864,360 - 6% $16,526,408
  Also Opening/Notables
  Love Is Strange Sony Classics $126,552 + 76% $126,552
  The One i Love Radius/TWC $55,100 - 23% $55,100
  The Trip To Italy IFC Films $114,000 + 59% $221,280
  What If Cbs Films $652,000 - 24% $2,204,454
  Calvary FOX SEARCHLIGHT $540,000 + 33% $1,627,513
  Magic In the Moonlight Sony Classics $1,331,613 - 25% $6,820,938
  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $1,100,000 - 45% $203,960,970
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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