Weekend Report: 'No Good Deed' Succeeds, 'Guardians' Passes $300 Million
No Good Deed easily took first place ahead of Dolphin Tale 2 on another quiet weekend at the domestic box office.

Playing at 2,175 locations, the Screen Gems thriller opened to an estimated $24.25 million. That's in the same general range as 2009's Obsessed ($28.6 million), which shared a producer (Will Packer) and star (Idris Elba) with No Good Deed. More impressively, it debuted significantly higher than last year's The Call ($17.1 million), which was also a Sony thriller featuring a female protagonist in a confined location.

No Good Deed managed to successfully combine a few key ingredients. First, and most importantly, it was well-positioned within the perennially successful home invasion subgenre. These movies manage to tap in to one of our most common fears (harm to our home/family), while also promising an element of wish fulfillment (taking control and fighting back against these invaders).

Another key element to its success was its strong lead pairing of Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson. Both actors have quietly developed a following over the past decade, and these roles seemed liked good showcases for their talent.

It also probably didn't hurt that there's been nothing significant in the market for weeks now; No Good Deed is the first movie to open north of $20 million since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the second weekend of August.

The audience for No Good Deed was made up primarily of older women (60 percent female, 59 percent over the age of 30). They gave the movie a "B+" CinemaScore, which is a solid result for this genre. While the schedule gets pretty busy over the next few weeks, No Good Deed should still wind up with around $60 million total.

In second place, Dolphin Tale 2 opened to $15.9 million. That's down 17 percent from the first Dolphin Tale, which debuted to $19.15 million around the same time in 2011. Ticket sales were likely a bit closer, though, as the first Dolphin Tale got a boost from 3D premiums.

This isn't a bad opening, per se, but it isn't particularly impressive either. Simply making another movie and slapping a "2" on the end isn't enough to really entice moviegoers; Dolphin Tale 2 didn't seem to offer anything new in the story department, and as a result it took a bit of a hit.

Still, this movie is the type of family-friendly entertainment that tends to play well in the long run. With an "A" CinemaScore and solid reviews, look for Dolphin Tale 2 to finish with at least $55 million.

While Guardians of the Galaxy yielded the top spot, it still managed to have another impressive weekend: the movie eased 22 percent to $8.1 million. On Saturday, it passed $300 million, which makes it the first movie to do so since Frozen back in January. It's now earned $306 million, and is on track for at least $325 million by the end of its run.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took fourth place with $4.86 million. The movie was off a light 25 percent, which is probably due in part to the addition of IMAX screens this weekend. To date, Ninja Turtles has taken in an impressive $181.1 million.

Let's Be Cops rounded out the Top Five with $4.4 million (down 21 percent). To date, its earned $73.1 million total.

Playing at 809 theaters, The Drop opened to a solid $4.1 million. The crime drama likely got a boost from the fact that it featured James Gandolfini's final performance. A solid comparison is A Most Wanted Man, which featured Philip Seymour Hoffman's final lead role: the movie opened to $2.69 million from 361 theaters back in July.

Fox Searchlight is planning to expand The Drop a bit next weekend, and it should be playing in at least 1,000 theaters.

The Skeleton Twins opened to $380,691 from 15 theaters, which translates to a strong $25,379 per-theater average. The movie is set to expand next weekend ahead of a nationwide release on September 26th.

The three-part adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged ended with a whimper this weekend. Opening at 242 theaters, Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? bombed with just $461,179*. In comparison, the first two movies each opened above $1.68 million. To be fair, the second outing opened at over 1,000 theaters, and both previous movies had more marketing/publicity ahead of their launches.

Ultimately, the entire three-part endeavor will likely wind up with less than $10 million at the domestic box office (and not a whole lot overseas as well). The troubled production history is surely to blame for some of this—the cast changed with each installment—though it does call in to question whether the novel is as popular as it's perceived to be.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly listed Atlas Shrugged Part III's gross as $355,000. This number only accounted for Friday/Saturday grosses, and did not include a Sunday estimate.

Around-the-World Roundup

Lucy added $25 million overseas this weekend to bring its international total to a massive $231 million. It opened in first place in Russia with an outstanding $9.6 million. The movie still has to open in Italy and a number of smaller markets in Latin America, and it also could theoretically reach China (it's unclear if China has accepted it). Ultimately, Lucy is on pace to earn well over $400 million worldwide.

Into the Storm took in $14.2 million overseas this weekend; over half of that came from a so-so $7.6 million debut in China. To date, the movie has grossed $87.6 million overseas.

Sex Tape reached a handful of European markets and took in $11.5 million (new total of $61 million). It had a strong $4.5 million debut in Germany, but was less impressive in France ($1.5 million) and Italy ($1.3 million).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opened in first place in Australia with a strong $6.3 million. Overall, it added $10.5 million for a total of $138.9 million; it still has to open in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., Japan and China.

Divergent finally opened in China this weekend, and earned around $10 million in its first seven days. It's now taken in $135.4 million overseas, and could approach $150 million by the end of its run.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes added $9.5 million this weekend, which brings its total to a mighty $461.8 million. It continues to play well in China, where it's now earned over $95 million total. On Friday, it finally opens in Japan; the previous Apes movie earned over $30 million there. Ultimately, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes should wind up with over $700 million worldwide.

Guardians of the Galaxy opened to $2.1 million in Japan, which continues the streak of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies underwhelming in this market. Still, Guardians has now banked over $305 million from foreign markets, and still has China and Italy on the way next month.

A week ahead of its U.S. debut, The Maze Runner opened in five international markets and earned $8.3 million. It took first place in all five markets, and also opened above Divergent in each one. Its only major market was Mexico ($2.6 million), though it was more impressive in Taiwan ($2.2 million), Malaysia ($1.9 million) and Singapore ($1.4 million). It expands to 48 new markets (along with the U.S.) next weekend.

The Boxtrolls also got an early international start this weekend; the movie opened to $3.4 million in the U.K. and $1.8 million in Mexico.

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This Weekend's Forecast:

'Dolphin Tale,' 'No Good Deed' to Lead Another Quiet Weekend

This Weekend in Past Years

• 2013 - 'Insidious Chapter 2' Gets Lucky on Friday the 13th

• 2012 - 'Resident Evil 5,' 'Nemo 3D' Lead Another Slow Weekend

• 2011 - 'Lion King' Reclaims Box Office Crown

• 2010 - 'The Town' Bustles

• 2009 - Moviegoers Feast on 'Meatballs,' Slim Pickings for 'Jennifer'

• 2007 - 'Brave One' Leads Slow Weekend

• 2006 - 'Gridiron Gang' Tops Flabby Weekend

• 2005 - 'Just Like Heaven' No Cure for Box Office Blahs

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