Box-office roundup Aug.3, 2014 – #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy rockets to stellar opening

Marvel Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).
Marvel
Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $94 million [debut week] – Marvel Studios has enjoyed a great track record with its films, but even experts figured its latest, about a misfit band of heroes, may be testing the strength of the brand. Those concerns definitely proved unfounded as Guardians enjoyed one of the biggest openings in Marvel Studios’ history. It was just $1 million shy of the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which opened in April.

The studio has already greenlit a sequel so the execs there weren’t worried and MS now can pretty much trot out any Marvel Comics character in its portfolio and expect a big time payday. The company is only looking up from here as next up is a film with a legitimate shot at being the highest grossing film of all time in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

2. Lucy – $18.2 million [2nd week; $79.6 million in total] Scarlett Johansson’s latest was destined to fall from first place, but it held up pretty well only dropping 58 percent. It should retain a steady audience through the next few weeks despite its average “C” CinemaScore.

Universal Pictures Chadwick Boseman as James Brown.
Universal Pictures
Chadwick Boseman as James Brown.

3. Get on Up – $14 million [debut week] The James Brown biopic was facing a steep challenge in trying to carve out a decent gross against such steep competition, but the Chadwick Boseman film outperformed estimates. It did better than Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys,” which opened in July to $13 million. Costing $30 million, the film will quickly earn back its budget even if its overseas prospects aren’t that great.

4. Hercules – $10.7 million [2nd week; $52.3 million] Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s action flick dropped to fourth place and fell a noticeable 63 percent, which won’t help is longtime chances of making back its $100 million budget.

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $8.7 million [4th week; $189.3 million] – The Apes sequel is nearing in on $200 million, making it much more profitable than its “Rise of the Planet of the Apes“$176 million.