Box Office Results: Guardians is North America’s Top Movie of 2014!


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Tuesday for the final figures based on actual box office.

With Labor Day taking place today, it signifies the end of the summer, at least as far as the box office is considered, and it’s official that the James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel Studios is not only the big winner of the summer in terms of domestic box office, but it’s now also the highest-grossing movie of the year in North America!

“Guardians” had another great weekend at #1 with the largest increase from last weekend thanks to the four-day weekend and most Americans being off school and work on Monday. Its estimated $22.2 million weekend gross was up 29% from last weekend’s return to first place, but it really only needed Friday to surpass the $260 million domestic gross of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, previously the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically. By Monday, James Gunn’s ensemble outer space epic had grossed $280 million domestically and it’s well on its way becoming the only movie of 2014 (so far) to cross the $300 million mark. This gives Marvel and Walt Disney Studios the bragging rights of having the top two highest-grossing movies (domestically) of the year.

(Check back later for the international box office for Guardians of the Galaxy and other movies.)

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starring Megan Fox, continued its run at #2 with $15.7 million over the four-day weekend (down 6% from last week’s three-day weekend) with a domestic total of $166.4 after four weeks in theaters.

As has been the trend for August, the new movies had to settle for lower placement openings as third and fourth place were once again held by returning movies If I Stay (Warner Bros.), starring Chloe Grace Moretz, and Let’s Be Cops (20th Century Fox), starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson.

After opening in third place last weekend, the young adult drama If I Stay did just that, retaining third place with $11.6 million (over four days) for a running total of $32.2 million. The police comedy Let’s Be Cops also held its place in fourth with $10.6 million to bring its own total to $59.7 million. Being that the two movies were produced for $11 and 17 million, respectively, they’re both proving profitable, showing that a studio doesn’t have to spend a fortune to have a moderate hit.

Although we don’t have a reported budget for the found footage horror film As Above/So Below (Legendary/Universal), one can only imagine it didn’t cost that much and is likely to have made back its budget this weekend despite a poor opening. After making $3.2 million on Friday in 2,640 theaters, it ended up with $8.6 million over the three days and $10.3 million over four days, roughly $3,910 per location. With a “C-” CinemaScore, it’s not likely this movie will last very long moving into September.

Pierce Brosnan’s return to the spy action-thriller genre with The November Man (Relativity Media), directed by Roger Donaldson, didn’t fare much better with $10.2 million in slightly more theaters. Having opened early on Wednesday, it has grossed $11.9 million in its first six days of business.

The football drama When the Game Stands Tall (Sony/Tristar) dropped to seventh place with $8 million for the four-day weekend, down 5% as it brought its total to $18.7 million.

It was followed in eighth place by the Lois Lowry adaptation The Giver (The Weinstein Company) with $6.9 million with the Helen Mirren-starring The Hundred-Foot Journey (DreamWorks) remaining in ninth place with $6.3 million. The former has amassed $33 million while the latter has scored $41 million.

The disappointing action three-quel The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate) wrapped up the Top 10 with $4.5 million and $34.2 million total.

With an estimated $106 million over the four-day holiday weekend, the Top 10 was only a few million short of last year’s Labor Day weekend when the concert movie One Direction: This is Us (Sony/Tristar) fell just short of winning the weekend against the returning ensemble drama Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The Mexican comedy Instructions Not Included surprised the country by opening with $10.4 million in just 347 theaters for a fifth place opening.

Speaking of which, that film’s distributor Pantelion Films (via Lionsgate) released the biopic of famed Mexican comedian Cantinflas into 382 theaters this past Friday where it fared decently with $3.2 million over the four-day weekend. Its per-theater average of $8,442 was the highest of any movie this weekend.

Also, Sony rereleased the 1984 comedy classic Ghostbusters into 784 theaters nationwide where it took $2.2 million over the four days in advance of its remastered DVD and Blu-ray release.

As far as limited releases, Roadside Attractions released the Jennifer Aniston crime-comedy Life of Crime, based on Elmore Leonard’s novel “The Switch,” into 36 theaters where it grossed $122 thousand or $3,400 per location.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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