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Weekend Report: 'Guardians' Easily Tops Weak Labor Day Releases

by Ray Subers
Guardians of the Galaxy
 

 
August 31, 2014

A slow Summer at the domestic box office came to a quiet end this weekend.

Guardians of the Galaxy
held on to first place, while the two newcomers (As Above/So Below, The November Man fell short of $10 million.

Over the three-day weekend, the Top 12 earned $88.2 million, which makes this the second-worst weekend of the year so far.

Guardians of the Galaxy
added $17.1 million, which ranks eighth all-time among fifth weekends. It was off just one percent from last weekend, which is a great Labor Day hold; that's even better than last year's Lee Daniels' The Butler and We're the Millers (down 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively). Over the long weekend, Guardians earned $22.9 million, which ranks third all-time among Labor Day weekends.

Including Labor Day, the 10th movie from Marvel Studios has now earned $281.2 million at the domestic box office. Even with the Summer season coming to a close, Guardians is still on track for at least $305 million total.

In second place, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eased 29 percent to $11.9 million. A surprise late-Summer hit, Turtles has grossed an impressive $166.3 million through Monday.

If I Stay
held on to third place with $9.3 million. It was off just 41 percent, which is a respectable drop for a movie targeted toward young women; in comparison, The Fault in our Stars fell 69 percent. Through 11 days, If I Stay has taken in $32.3 million.

Playing at 2,640 theaters, found footage horror movie As Above/So Below opened to $8.6 million this weekend. It earned 37 percent of that on Friday, which is a somewhat high share for a holiday weekend. As a result, it wound up in between past Labor Day horror movies Apollo 18 ($8.7 million) and Shark Night 3D ($8.4 million).

For the four-day weekend, As Above/So Below wound up in fifth place with $10.3 million.

As Above/So Below
was clearly cheap to make, and it doesn't seem like Universal spent a ton to market it. Still, big studio movies opening at over 2,500 theaters really ought to be cracking $10 million for the three-day weekend—especially when they're in a front-loaded genre like this.

With a "C-" CinemaScore and an audience that's 64 percent under the age of 25, As Above/So Below is going to drop like a rock from here; it would be shocking if it closed above $25 million.

Let's Be Cops
rounded out the Top Five with $8.3 million (down 23 percent). Through Monday, the R-rated comedy has earned $59.5 million.

The November Man
took sixth place with $7.9 million ($10.1 million four-day). That opening is noticeably lower than similar Labor Day releases like The American ($13.2 million), The Debt ($9.9 million) and Lawless ($10 million). Including its Wednesday and Thursday grosses, The November Man has now earned $11.8 million.

The movie's audience was 55 percent male and 83 percent over the age of 25. They awarded it a solid "B+" CinemaScore. Still, it would be surprising if this ultimately wound up over $25 million.

Lionsgate/Pantelion's Cantinflas opened to $2.66 million at 382 theaters ($3.4 million four-day). That's a fraction of the $7.8 million that Instructions Not Included earned on the same weekend last year; still, this is an above-average result for a limited release exclusively targeted toward Hispanic moviegoers.

In its second weekend, Sin City: A Dame to Kill for fell 65 percent to $2.22 million. Through 11 days, its earned just $11.45 million—less than the first Sin City earned on its first day.

The 30th anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters took in $1.76 million from 784 theaters this weekend. That's nearly identical to the Raiders of the Lost Ark re-release ($1.67 million), though Raiders was only playing at 267 IMAX theaters.

Around-the-World Roundup


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
opened to a massive $47 million in China this weekend. That ranks fourth all-time for an imported title behind the last two Transformers movies and Iron Man 3. Apes has now earned over $611 million worldwide; with Japan still to come, it will almost certainly reach $700 million.

Lucy
added $31.2 million, which brings its total to an impressive $151.6 million. It had solid opening in Mexico ($4.3 million), Japan ($2.6 million) and Brazil ($2.4 million).

Guardians of the Galaxy
earned $19.7 million overseas this weekend. It opened in first place in Germany with $7 million; that's 74 percent higher than Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but 17 percent lower than Thor: The Dark World. The Marvel movie has taken in $273.1 million overseas so far, and still has Japan, Italy and China on the way.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
added $13 million for a very early total of $112.1 million. Its only major opening was in South Korea, where it took in $2.6 million. That's a somewhat disappointing result, considering the fact that Megan Fox did a major press tour in Seoul last week. The Turtles still have openings in Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.K. on the way.

Into The Storm
took in $12.9 million this weekend. It opened to $5.2 million in South Korea—twice as much as Ninja Turtles—and also had a decent start in Italy ($1.2 million). Unfortunately, it was underwhelming in Brazil ($1 million) and Spain ($600,000). To date, Into the Storm has earned $47.7 million overseas.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

This Weekend in Past Years
• 2013 - 'One Direction' Rocks, 'Instructions' Surprises Over Labor Day
• 2012 - 'The Possession' Leads Typically Quiet Labor Day
• 2011 - 'The Help' Works It Over Labor Day
• 2010 - 'The American' Out-Draws 'The Mexican'
• 2009 - 'Final Destination' Clings to Labor Day Lead
• 2008 - 'Tropic Thunder' Leads Quiet Summer Close
• 2007 - 'Halloween' Severs Labor Day Record
• 2006 - 'Illusionist' Impresses on Labor Day Weekend

• 2005 - 'Transporter 2' Drives to Labor Day Record

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Weekend Box Office Results
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