By Daniel Garris
Guardians of the Galaxy claimed first place this weekend with $17.20 million. The blockbuster sci-fi superhero adaptation from Marvel returned to first place after finishing in second each of the past two weekends. Guardians of the Galaxy held up extremely well this weekend, as it was down just 32 percent from last weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy surpassed the $250 million mark this weekend and has grossed $251.46 million in 24 days. That currently ranks the film as the third highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically (behind only Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Lego Movie). Guardians of the Galaxy is set to move into first place for the year within the next week.
After leading the box office each of the past two weekends, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fell to second with $16.73 million. Paramount's successful franchise re-launch was down a solid 41 percent from last weekend. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to exceed expectations in a big way with $145.54 million through 17 days of release. The film will zoom past the $150 million domestic mark within the next week and should continue to further stabilize next weekend with help from the Labor Day holiday.
Warner's If I Stay debuted in third with $15.68 million. The low-budget drama starring Chloë Grace Moretz opened on the low end of pre-release expectations and performed fairly well with its cost in mind. If I Stay opened slightly below the $16.10 million debut of last year's Carrie, which also starred Moretz. Due in part to its different genre and in part to the limited amount of new wide releases over the next few weeks, If I Stay will hope to hold up better going forward than Carrie did. If I Stay opened with $6.83 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.1 million from late night shows on Thursday), fell 18 percent on Saturday to take in $5.62 million and fell 42 percent on Sunday to gross $3.23 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at just 2.30 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (77 percent) and moviegoers under the age of 25 (61 percent). If I Stay received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore.
Let's Be Cops followed in fourth with $10.81 million. Fox's low-budget action-comedy held up well in its second weekend, as it was down 39 percent from last weekend. Let's Be Cops has grossed $45.06 million in twelve days. That is in line with the lower end of expectations and places the film 21 percent behind the recent $56.99 million twelve-day take of Tammy. Let's Be Cops will likely continue to hold up well going forward thanks in part to no new comedies entering the marketplace the next few weeks.
Sony's When the Game Stands Tall rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.38 million. The low-budget drama from TriStar and AFFIRM Films opened just below pre-release expectations and 14 percent below the $9.78 million start of Draft Day earlier this year. When the Game Stands Tall opened with $2.95 million on Friday, increased 15 percent on Saturday to gross $3.38 million and declined 39 percent on Sunday to gross $2.05 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.84 to 1. When the Game Stands Tall received a promising A- rating on CinemaScore and will have a good chance of holding up well going forward.
Meanwhile, fellow new release Sin City: A Dame to Kill For absolutely stumbled out the gate this weekend with an extremely disappointing eighth place start of just $6.32 million. The graphic novel adaptation sequel from The Weinstein Company opened well below all expectations and a massive 78 percent below the $29.12 million start of 2005's Sin City (which didn't the advantage of higher priced 3D admissions). Unlike 300: Rise of an Empire earlier this year, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was unable to overcome the long gap in time between it and its predecessor. The film opened with $2.62 million on Friday, fell 18 percent on Saturday to take in $2.14 million and declined 27 percent on Sunday to gross $1.56 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.41 to 1. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore.
The Expendables 3 and The Giver claimed sixth and seventh place with respective weekend takes of $6.49 million and $6.43 million. The two films were separated by just $51,145 for the frame. The Expendables 3 fell a sharp 59 percent from last weekend, while The Weinstein Company's The Giver was down a reasonable 48 percent. Respective ten-day totals stand at a very disappointing $27.40 million for The Expendables 3 and at a solid $23.80 million for The Giver.