Box office roundup – Aug. 24, 2014 – “Guardians” returns to the top

Marvel Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
Marvel
Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).

1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $17.6 million [4th week; $252 million in total] After a two-week stint in the runner-up slot, Marvel Studios’ latest not only reclaimed the top spot, but out-grossed “Transformers: Age of Extinction” to become 2014’s highest grossing summer flick. At some point this week, it will also surpass “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” ($259 million) to become the highest grossing film of the year solidifying Marvel Studios’ box office dominance.

2. If I Stay – $16.5 million [debut week] The romantic teen tear-jerker proved once again the power of the teen drama. This actually was well behind the acclaimed “The Fault in Our Stars,” which opened with $48 million. But with a $10 million budget, it’s already brought in a profit.

Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount  Michelangelo, Leonardo, Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Raphael, and Donatello in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount
Michelangelo, Leonardo, Megan Fox as April O’Neil, Raphael, and Donatello in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $16 million [3rd week; $135 million] Despite falling from a two-week stint atop the box office to third place this weekend, Paramount executives can take comfort that this is now the highest grossing entry in the series as it passed the 1990 original and has made back its $125 million budget.

4. Let’s Be Cops $11 million – [2nd week; $40 million in total] The buddy comedy held up just fine against the three newcomers as it had another pure profit week after doubling its $17 million budget.

5. When the Game Stands Tall – $9 million [debut week] – The latest high school football film scored with families as it opened slightly higher than 2006’s “We Are Marshall’s” $6.4 million opening although it was just behind April’s “Draft Day,” which earned $9.8 million. Kevin Costner’s star power could have proven the difference in that case. Next weekend will be key to determine its long-term prospects.

The Weinstein Company Jessica Alba as Nancy
The Weinstein Company
Jessica Alba as Nancy

8. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – $6.4 million [debut week] – In the biggest shocker of the weekend, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s sequel to their breakout 2005 hit failed to even crack the Top 5. The first film opened to $29.1 million. It’s likely the nine year gap significantly dulled audience anticipation for this, but it’s just as likely that audiences have moved on from the dreary world in “Sin City.” After all, in the span of time between “Sin City” installments we’ve gotten two more Christopher Nolan Batman films, three Iron Man movies, two Captain America, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man , a Superman reboot and The Avengers. Next to that array of superhero talent, Marv and company just don’t compare to mainstream audiences anymore. It didn’t help that critics weren’t nearly as fond of the sequel as it only managed 43% freshness on rottentomatoes.com compared to the original’s 78%

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