Here are your estimated three-day box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. Guardians of the Galaxy - $94.0 million ($94.0 million total)
2. Lucy - $18.2 million ($79.5 million total)
3. Get on Up - $14.0 million ($14.0 million total)
4. Hercules - $10.7 million ($52.3 million total)
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - $8.7 million ($189.3 million total)
6. Planes: Fire & Rescue - $6.4 million ($47.5 million total)
7. The Purge: Anarchy - $5.5 million ($51.2 million total)
8. Sex Tape – 3.5 million ($33.9 million total)
9. And So It Goes - $3.34 million ($10.4 million total)
10. A Most Wanted Man - $3.32 million ($7.0 million total)
The Big Stories
The next time comic book fans are told they are not as powerful as they think will only need to point to this weekend as evidence of the contrary. Who knows if the same will be said of Ant-Man next summer, but this weekend nerds, geeks and fanboys alike will rejoice in what they accomplished. If only there were a breakdown at the box office between the loyal comic readers and your average “lets go see a movie” folks, like the reports differentiating 3D and IMAX tickets. Then we can see just how big of a success this was for Marvel. But make no mistake: Guardians of the Galaxy is a major success.
Guardians Tops X-Men and Spider-Man
Box office numbers are still down over 17% from last year, and though Guardians gives it a nice August bump (considering it’s the biggest three-day weekend the month has ever seen) that negative billion-dollar number still looms. Hey, let us not focus on the negative right now, though. Guardians of the Galaxy just opened to $94 million.
That number is higher than the openings to sequels for Spider-Man and the X-Men, plus just below Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That is mighty impressive, and as Romany Malco in The 40-Year-Old Virgin might say, “EXTRAPOLATE THAT!” in reference to the sequel due out on July 28, 2017. Marvel now has another established franchise that is likely going to gain fans at home over the next three years, but let’s see how the rest of the month goes.
Get on Up Just Doesn't
Tate Taylor’s biopic of James Brown (Get on Up) didn't do as well, opening to $14 million. Taylor’s The Help opened to $26 million in August of 2011, but lightning does not appear to be striking twice for the writer-director at the box office or the Oscars (though I’m sure star Chadwick Boseman will receive a few forgotten whispers.)
Music biopics in general are not exactly sure things at the box office, and this is how Get on Up stacks up.
Walk the Line ($22.3 million), Notorious ($20.4), Ray ($20.0), Get on Up ($14.0), Jersey Boys ($13.3), Selena ($11.6), The Doors ($9.1), La Bamba ($5.6), Why Do Fools Fall in Love ($3.9), Great Balls of Fire ($3.8)
Tales of the Top 10
Lucy will certainly make up for Get on Up’s potential loss, though. Like so many summer starters before it, Luc Besson’s film fell (as expected) 61% this weekend. Its going to take a slow walk over the $100 million mark and should find its way in profit once the overseas dollars kick into gear.
That is precisely what Paramount needs to count on for Hercules, which despite being underestimated (by both critics and its opening three-day haul), isn't doing as well as some hoped. Likely headed for no more than $70 million here in the U.S. (also dropping 65% in weekend two) it is still going to need over $113 million more overseas for it to break even.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has reached its profit margin this weekend and should be close to hitting $200 million by the end of next weekend. The Purge: Anarchy (another Universal hit) is just a million or so away from outgrossing its predecessor. Planes: Fire & Rescue could be Disney’s third family-oriented disappointment this year after Muppets Most Wanted and Million Dollar Arm. The animated sequel looks to be down about 30% from the original in the U.S. but if that number holds true for the overseas market, it will find its way into profit.
Lionsgate doubled the screens for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last starring role and A Most Wanted Man grossed another $3 million. Even Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes continued to draw in some adults and is now over $10 million. All in all, films two through 10 at the box office conjured up about $20 million less than Guardians of the Galaxy overall. Mission accomplished.
- Erik Childress can be seen each Thursday morning on WCIU-TV's First Business breaking down the box office on the Movies & Money segment.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
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