Box office report: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' tops weekend, becomes No. 1 film of the summer

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Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy was the top-grossing film of the weekend, beating out a trio of new releases—and in the process, becoming the No. 3 movie of the year and the highest earner of the summer with nearly $252 million.

The Marvel Studios-produced film—starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista and Lee Pace—has now grossed $251.9 million since its stateside release four weeks ago, outpacing films like Transformers: Age of Extinction ($251 million), Maleficent ($237 million), X-Men: Days of Future Past ($232 million total domestic gross), Godzilla ($201 million) and Neighbors ($150 million).

Guardians has earned nearly $500 million globally, and with upcoming releases in key territories including Japan and China, the film is poised to become Disney’s top film of the year. 

“It opened within our sweet spot,” says Sony’s worldwide distribution president Rory Bruer. “It was done at a very modest budget. Our campaign was very grassroots and to open to $9 million and have the uptick that we had on Saturday night with an A- Cinema Score and very, very strong exits—people really like the film. I think it will be in theaters for many weeks to come. It’s going to have a very solid multiple.”

The offbeat good-guy superhero flick outpaced YA adaptation If I Stay (Cinema Score: A-), which released to $16.5 million.  Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, the film came in just ahead of Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a comic book reboot which surprised industry analysts by being the top earner for two weekends in a row, largely by attracting kids and millennials hungry for nostalgia.

New release Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (Cinema Score: B–)—distributed by The Weinstein Company—disappointed, dropping from sixth place on Friday to eighth place on Saturday with just $6.4 million. The weekend’s third new release, Sony TriStar’s feel-good sports film When The Game Stands Tall, rounded out the top five at $8.7 million just behind Fox’s laugh-out-loud comedy Let’s Be Cops, which drew $11 million.

Here are the top five films:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy – $17.63 million ($251.88 million total domestic gross)

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $16.8 million ($145.61 million total domestic gross)

3. If I Stay – $16.36 million (new)

4. Let’s Be Cops – $11.0 million ($42.5 million total domestic gross)

5. When The Game Stands Tall– $9.0 million (new)

Outside the top earners, The Giver came in at the No. 6 spot with an estimated $6.73 million, and an estimated domestic total gross of $24.10 million. Coming in at No. 7 –right ahead of new release Sin City 2 — was The Expendables 3 with an estimated $6.6 million (estimated domestic gross $27.52 million)

New films in limited release included Love Is Strange, which opened this weekend with an estimated $126, 522 from five locations. The film–a favorite at Sundance–was a hit with online audiences, nabbing the top spot on the Romance and Sci-Fi film charts on iTunes.


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