“Guardians” provided the only heat at multiplexes after the major studios had eschewed opening any new releases — and moviegoers responded by staying away, leading to what’s likely to be the quietest weekend of the year as “Guardians” notched the lowest first-place finish of 2014. The top 10 took in a combined $48 million, or about half of what “Guardians” grossed in its opening weekend on Aug. 1-3.
The only new entry was Freestyle’s faith-based “The Identical,” which showed little traction with $1.9 million at 1,966 sites, counter to recent Christian-driven successes such as “Heaven Is for Real,” “God’s Not Dead” and “Son of God.” “The Identical” came in 11th behind Universal’s seventh weekend of “Lucy.”
“Guardians” declined 41% in scoring its third win in a row and fourth overall. It’s the first Marvel title to win four weekends at the U.S. box office.
The wacky space adventure has hit $294.6 million domestically — leading “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” by $25 million as the top U.S. grosser — and another $291.6 million internationally, led by $43.2 million in the U.K. and $36 million in Russia. During the weekend, “Guardians” grossed $11.5 million internationally; it will open next weekend in Japan, on Oct. 10 in China and Oct. 22 in Italy.
Paramount’s fifth weekend of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” finished a distant second with $6.5 million at 3,273 locations to bring its domestic total to $174.6 million.
Warner Bros.’ third weekend of young-adult weeper “If I Stay,” led the rest of the pack with $5.8 million at 3,157 sites for a total of $39.7 million.
Fox’s fourth frame of “Let’s Be Cops” followed with $5.4 million at 2,932 screens for a solid $66.6 million U.S. cume. The comedy’s 35% decline was the smallest in the top five.
The last two summer titles to open took the next two slots. Relativity’s sophomore session of Pierce Brosnan’s “The November Man” finished fifth with $4.2 million at 2,776, giving the spy thriller $17.9 million after a dozen days.
Universal’s micro-budget found-footage thriller “As Above, So Below” followed with $3.72 million at 2,650 locations, sliding 57% for a 10-day total of $15.6 million. That edged out Sony’s third weekend of inspirational football drama “When the Game Stands Tall” with $3.7 million at 2,766 for a cume of $23.5 million.
The Weinstein Co.’s fourth outing of “The Giver” repeated its eighth-place finish with $3.6 million at 2,576 to lift its 24-day total to $37.8 million. Disney’s fifth frame of Helen Mirren’s restaurant comedy-drama “The Hundred-Foot Journey” came in ninth again with $3.2 million at 2,167 for a U.S. cume of $45.7 million.
“Lucy,” one of the summer’s few over-performers, rounded out the top 10 with $1.95 million at 1,171 sites for a U.S. cume of $121.2 million.
Paramount’s Imax launch of “Forrest Gump,” coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Oscar Best Picture, generated little interest with $405,000 at 337 locations.
On the international front, “Lucy” topped the foreign box office with $25.5 million to lift its overseas total to $192 million. Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” added $16.6 million for an impressive $437.6 million international total — including $72 million from its first two weeks in China.
On the specialty front, IFC’s ninth weekend of Richard Linklater’s awards contender “Boyhood” took in $1.4 million at 775, lifting its U.S. cume to $20.7 million. Its fourth weekend of Steve Coogan-Rob Bryden comedy “Trip to Italy” took in $349,000 at 84 to lift the U.S. cume to $1.17 million.