Box Office Report: 'No Good Deed' Goes Unpunished, Plus 'Guardians' Hits Another Milestone

Box Office Report: 'No Good Deed' Goes Unpunished, Plus 'Guardians' Hits Another Milestone

Sep 14, 2014

Here are your estimated three-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. No Good Deed - $24.5 million ($24.5 million total)

2. Dolphin Tale 2 - $16.5 million ($16.5 million total)

3. Guardians of the Galaxy - $8.0 million ($305.9 million total)

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - $4.8 million ($181.0 million total)

5. Let's Be Cops - $4.3 million ($72.9 million total)

6. The Drop - $4.2 million ($4.2 million total)

7. If I Stay - $4.0 million ($44.9 million total)

8. The November Man - $2.7 million ($22.4 million total)

9. The Giver - $2.6 million ($41.3 million total)

10. The Hundred-Foot Journey - $2.4 million ($49.4 million total)

The Big Stories

No good deed goes unpunished. So the saying goes. Perhaps by that logic one could also say no bad deed goes unrewarded. How else to look at this week's box office winner? Starved for little offerings over the past few weeks, audiences jumped at the chance to take in one of your standard stalking, home-invasion thriller that pits evil man vs. helpless woman. Screen Gems canceled press screenings of No Good Deed this week on the cause of trying to preserve some big twist (since critics apparently always spoil surprises). Maybe, just maybe, the studio didn't want to appear insensitive to the ongoing case of an NFL player beating his fiancee in an elevator. 

 

Idris Elba: The New Psycho-Thriller King?

Screen Gems has a pretty thorough history of being the studio of the horror remake (When a Stranger Calls, Prom Night, Carrie, The Stepfather and even Straw Dogs.) Plus it has had successes with The Exorcism of Emily Rose as well as the Resident Evil and Underworld series. One film you may have forgotten about, though, was 2009's Obsessed. It starred Idris Elba in a Fatal Attraction-like scenario where he and his family were stalked by a crazy white woman (Ali Larter). It opened to $28.6 million and its $68.2 million is the fifth highest domestic grossing film in the Screen Gems library. No Good Deed's $24 million start puts it in equally impressive ground according to Box Office Mojo's list of the "Thriller - Psycho/Stalker/Blank from Hell" category:

Obsessed ($28.6 million), No Good Deed ($24.5), Lakeview Terrace ($15.003), The Roommate ($15.002), Domestic Disturbance ($14.03), Enough ($14.00), Sleeping with the Enemy ($13.7), Sliver ($12.1), The Stepfather 2009 ($11.5), Swimfan ($11.3)

Seems a few films are missing from that list. Last year's The Call for example. What other films would you include? Think fast, because over the next few years Screen Gems may be trying to get Idris Elba into every "Thriller - Psycho/Stalker/Blank from Hell" script out there. With a twist, of course.

 

From Getting a Tail to Getting Some Tail

It's not often we get a family movie out there about dolphin sex, so we should applaud it whenever it arrives. The first Dolphin Tale looked like a minor hit for Warner Bros. back in 2011. Much more in the U.S. than overseas. But with a combined $75 million budget, its $95.4 million worldwide meant theatrical was a bust and home video would have to make up the difference. Now the sequel is here, with a slightly smaller production budget than the first, but it is likely to still be looking to DVD.

The $16 million is a slower start than the original's $19 million and it faces competition in the coming weeks from The Maze Runner and The Boxtrolls. In other words, it is adding up to another theatrical bust for the studio in a string of busts going all the way back to Godzilla. (Though If I Stay is about $20 million away from breaking into the black.)

 

Tales of the Top 10

Guardians of the Galaxy finally did it. The first $300 million grosser of 2014. It unlikely will remain the year's top grosser with Hunger Games on the horizon, but this is still a massive victory for James Gunn, Marvel and the whole Guardians cast. Paramount is going to do whatever it can to push Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to $200 million (it currently stands at $181) but it will still need at least $40-plus million on top of that to start making a profit.

Meanwhile, Fox's Let's Be Cops is officially into the black and alongside X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Fault in Our Stars, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the studio had a perfect profitable summer. Something no other studio could say. In other nice news for Fox, its limited 809-screen Searchlight release of The Drop took in $4.2 million, which is the second best start for a film opening on under 1,000 screens after God's Not Dead.


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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