By Daniel Garris
Guardians of the Galaxy arrived with a bang this weekend with a stronger than expected start of $94.32 million. The 3D sci-fi superhero film from Disney and Marvel soared past pre-release expectations which had tended to range anywhere from $65 million to $80 million. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Guardians of the Galaxy easily set a new opening record for the month of August. The previous high-mark was the $69.28 million debut of The Bourne Ultimatum back in 2007. It should be noted that when adjusting for ticket price inflation, Guardians of the Galaxy does rank slightly behind the $97.2 million adjusted debut of Rush Hour 2 (which opened with an actual gross of $67.41 million in 2001).
Guardians of the Galaxy delivered the third largest opening weekend performance of 2014 to date (behind only Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Solider). That Guardians of the Galaxy was able to open nearly on par with the $95.02 million debut of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, despite being a non-sequel based on a far less known pre-established property is quite the achievement and is a very strong sign for future Disney and Marvel projects heading into the future.
Guardians of the Galaxy opened with $37.85 million on Friday (which included a strong $11.2 million from Thursday evening shows), fell 18 percent on Saturday to take in $30.99 million and declined 18 percent on Sunday to gross $25.49 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.49 to 1. Guardians of the Galaxy will hope to hold up well going forward thanks to very strong critical reviews and strong early word of mouth (the film received an A rating on CinemaScore). However, it is still very possible that the film could be front-loaded given the nature of comic book adaptations in general and a number of new films that will provide direct competition in the weeks ahead (including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Let's Be Cops and The Expendables 3).
The audience breakdown for Guardians of the Galaxy skewed towards male moviegoers (56 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (55 percent). Family audiences represented 26 percent of the film's overall audience. 3D grosses represented 45 percent of the film's overall gross this weekend.
Universal's Lucy placed in a distant second this weekend with $18.25 million. The modestly budgeted sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson was down a sharp 58 percent from last weekend. Lucy was obviously hurt in a big way by the break-out performance of Guardians of the Galaxy and the film's lukewarm word of mouth didn't help matters either this weekend. With that said, Lucy continues to exceed expectations nicely with a strong ten-day start of $79.54 million. That places the film 12 percent ahead of the $71.03 million ten-day take of 2010's Salt (which fell 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $19.47 million).
Fellow Universal release Get on Up opened in third with $13.59 million. The James Brown biopic starring Chadwick Boseman opened below expectations, as it too was likely hurt a bit by the breakout start of Guardians of the Galaxy. Get on Up was unable to excite moviegoers anywhere near to the same extent as last year's 42 (which also starred Boseman). Get on Up debuted 51 percent softer than the $27.49 million debut of 42.
Get on Up started up with $4.89 million on Friday, increased 5 percent to gross $5.15 million on Saturday and declined 31 percent on Sunday to gross $3.55 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.78 to 1. The audience breakdown for Get on Up skewed towards female moviegoers (63 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (90 percent). The film will hope that largely positive reviews and a strong A rating on CinemaScore will help lead to strong holding power going forward.
On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start, Hercules tumbled in its second weekend with a fourth place take of $11.01 million. The Dwayne Johnson led 3D action-adventure film from Paramount and MGM was down a very sharp 63 percent from last weekend. While Hercules was always extremely likely to be front-loaded to begin with, the competition from Guardians of the Galaxy obviously took an extra toll on the film. Hercules does continue to perform ahead of its relatively modest expectations with a ten-day start of $52.66 million. But this weekend's hold is a troubling sign going forward, especially with the already mentioned upcoming direct competition on the horizon.
Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.69 million. The critically acclaimed 3D sci-fi action sequel was down 48 percent. Despite strong word of mouth, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has taken a hit from all of the new direct competition the past two weeks. In the bigger picture, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues to perform well with a 24-day take of $189.32 million. That leaves the film $10.68 million away from reaching the $200 million domestic milestone and places the film an impressive 27 percent ahead of the $148.67 million 24-day take of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Guardians of the Galaxy takes off with a $160.4 million global haul from 42 overseas territories in its day-and-date debut. The Marvel film brought in $66.4 million of that figure from the overseas box office with Russia leading the foreign markets after a $13 million bow.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes grossed $47.5 million from 70 markets and reached a $260.1 million overseas cume. The film has made a total of $349.4 million globally.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 caught another $20 million from 36 markets. The film has grossed a total of $296.7 million outside of North America and $475.2 million globally.
Transformers: Age of Extinction crossed the $1 billion mark globally after taking $19.1 million in its sixth weekend overseas. The film has now grossed a total of $763.8 million outside of North America and $1.004 billion globally.
Hercules claimed $14.2 million from 35 territories to reach a $56.5 million cume overseas. The film has grossed $108.8 million worldwide.
The Purge: Anarchy took $8.1 million from 35 overseas territories to reach a cume of $19.3 million outside of North America. The film has grossed $82.2 million worldwide.
22 Jump Street brought in $7.1 million from 45 territories and hit $101.4 million overseas. The comedy has grossed $289.5 million worldwide.
Step Up: All In is still on its feet overseas as it continues to drive in box office dollars ahead of its North American premiere. The dance film brought in $5.8 million from 25 markets in its latest frame. It has grossed $26.2 million overseas and worldwide.
Lucy rolled out overseas with a $5.1 million haul from 4 territories. The action film has grossed $84.6 million worldwide.
Sex Tape uncovered $4.2 million from 26 markets and reached an overseas total of $17.8 million. The raunchy comedy has struggled at the box office and is currently reporting a $51.7 million global haul.
Planes: Fire and Rescue landed another $3.5 million from 30 markets. The Disney animated sequel has grossed a total of $30 million overseas and $77.6 million worldwide.
The Fault in Our Stars added $2 million from 23 markets. The film has grossed $140 million overseas and $263.3 million worldwide.
By Daniel Garris
Universal's Lucy took in $3.23 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive and final day. The modestly budgeted sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson did fall a significant 14 percent from Wednesday, as the film clearly took a hit from the strong Thursday evening launch of Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy. Lucy was the week's top film with a stronger than expected seven-day start of $61.29 million. While Lucy is showing early signs of front-loading thus far, the film's holding power won't be as important given the strength of its opening week performance.
Hercules held steady in second place with $2.12 million. The Dwayne Johnson led 3D action-adventure film from Paramount and MGM was down a sharp 19 percent from Wednesday. Clearly Hercules also took a big hit on Thursday from the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy in the marketplace. While it didn't light the box office on fire this week, Hercules did exceed its relatively modest expectations with a seven-day start of $41.65 million. That placed the film in second for the week.
Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took in $1.61 million to remain in third. The 3D sci-fi action sequel fell 13 percent from Wednesday and 51 percent from last Thursday. Despite strong word of mouth, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clearly took a hit this week from the stronger than expected performances of Lucy and Hercules. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes placed in third for the week with $24.94 million. That was down 53 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's three-week total to a strong $180.63 million.
Planes: Fire and Rescue claimed fourth place with $1.31 milllion. The modestly budgeted computer animated sequel from Disney was down only 4 percent from Wednesday, which represented the day's strongest daily percentage hold among wide releases. The film was down 35 percent from last Thursday. Planes: Fire and Rescue placed in fifth for the week with $15.35 million. That was down 40.5 percent from last week and brings the film's two-week total to $41.17 million.
Universal's The Purge: Anarchy rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $1.13 million. The low budget horror sequel fell 9 percent from Wednesday and a respectable 47 percent from last Thursday. The Purge: Anarchy claimed fourth place this week with $16.03 million. That was down 61 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to a very solid $57.41 million.
Universal reports that Lucy took in $3.74 million yesterday, off 31 percent from Tuesday. Its 6-day domestic total stands at $58.05 million, or 20.5 percent ahead of where 2010's Salt was at the same point.
Paramount's and MGM's Hercules grabbed $2.6 million on Wednesday for a 31 percent daily drop. The Dwayne Johnson-led pic has earned $39.5 million thus far, 4 percent behind the pace of Wrath of the Titans.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took third yesterday with $1.85 million, off 52.5 percent from the same day last week. Its domestic cume is now $179.0 million, 29 percent ahead of its predecessor through the same point in release.
Planes: Fire and Rescue grossed $1.37 million on Wednesday for a 35 percent week-to-week drop. The animated sequel has earned $39.9 million in its first 13 days, or 20 percent less than its predecessor.
Rounding out the top five, The Purge: Anarchy grabbed $1.2 million yesterday as it slid 52 percent from last week. The thriller sequel has tallied $56.3 million so far, 2 ahead of the pace of its predecessor.