Box Office Limps into Fall; 'Guardians' Reaches for $300 Million

Box Office Limps into Fall; 'Guardians' Reaches for $300 Million

The Summer of 2014 is over. Finally. All the talk about how it all is going will finally stop, as thoughts of entertainment writers move to foo foo festivals and dozens of Oscar contenders that no one but other entertainment writers will ever see. Of course if the Fall box office takes a dive…

Labor Day weekend is never a big movie-going weekend. Movies are for summer, and Labor Day reeks of Autumn. Time to clean the gutters, make sure the furnace is working, and dream of cool dry air, the turning of the leaves, pennant races and football. Me? All I want to do is to finally finish painting my house. This herculean project started in May, and I am now in the homestretch. If the weather cooperates, and it might, I could finish Monday. Then my life will be mine again.

What were we talking about?

Oh, yeah…

The only real good news at the box office this weekend is “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which in week five again took the top spot. The legs on this thing. By Tuesday, Marvel’s marvel will sit at $278 million after a 4-day take of another $20 million. Contrary to logic, math, history, science, and my predictions, “Guardians” is almost certain to pass $300 million, the first film to do so all year. “Guardians” is also, so far, the top grosser of 2014.

Had “Guardians” failed to reach $300 million, this would have been the first summer since 2001(!) not to have a tentpole reach that magic mark. As is, the summer is a bummer — down 15% over last year, the lowest gross box office since 2006; and as far as admissions sold, the lowest since 1992.

Things get murkier now. Deadline has “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” at number two, with a $15 million 4th weekend take that brings the total to $166 million. Variety, however, says Pierce Brosnan’s “The November Man” over-performed with a $15 million debut and won the number two spot.

The awful teen tearjerker “If I Stay” is looking at a 4-day take of $11 million, which will bring its total to $32 million. Not bad for a film with an $11 million budget but nowhere near the phenom many predicted.

“As Above/So Below,” a cheapie horror flick, opened to around $11 million. This genre is pretty well played out.

“Where the Game Stands Tall” (which I wish was playing locally) had an outstanding 2nd week hold, losing only 33% over its impressive debut. Tuesday morning Jim Caviezel’s feel-good football flick will have earned another $7 million for a total of $18 million.

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is a bona fide catastrophe, sinking to 14th place after a disastrous debut. The drop was 68%. Over the four-day weekend, the sequel is expected to take in only $2.6 million. By Tuesday, the $60 to $70 million neo-noir will have earned only $11 million. Did anyone see that coming?

Unless otherwise noted, these numbers are from Deadline. 

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC

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