Sunday, August 24, 2014

Box-Office Update: Holdovers Beat Newbies

Both Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" (My Review) and Paramount Pictures' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" beat the film adaptation of author Gayle Forman's novel "If I Stay".

The Weinstein Company's "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" bombs..While the inspirational true story high school football tale When The Game Stands Tall does sturdy biz.

Pamela McClintock of THR:

The penultimate weekend of summer ranged from lackluster to terrible for new offerings If I Stay and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, making way for Guardians of the Galaxy to reclaim the top spot at the North American box office as it became the top grossing film of the season.

Marvel Studios and Disney's Guardians took in $17.6 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic total of $251.9 million, eclipsing the $243.3 million grossed by Transformers: Age of Extinction. To boot, it should soon become the top grossing film of the year so far in North America when overtaking fellow Marvel title Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259.8 million). Globally, Guardians has now grossed $489 million.

Holdover Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles narrowly beat YA tearjerker If I Stay to take the No. 2 spot in its third weekend, grossing $16.8 million for a domestic total of $145.6 million. If I Stay followed with $16.4 million.

The YA film adaptation, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, was widely expected to win the weekend with an $18 million-plus debut. However, the movie quickly slowed on Friday.

From directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City 2 placed a dismal No. 8 with $6.4 million. The sequel opens nine years after the first film launched to more than $29 million (many are questioning whether the gap was too long).

The weekend's third new offering, inspirational high school football drama When the Game Stands Tall, enjoyed solid business, grossing $9 million to come in No. 5. From Sony's faith-based label Affirm, the movie was the only new title to see an uptick on Saturday, thanks to families.

If I Stay, earning an A- CinemaScore, was fueled by younger females, although they didn't turn out in force like they did for The Fault in Our Stars, which opened to a rousing $48 million earlier this summer. Females made up 77 percent of ticket buyers for If I Stay, while 61 percent were under the age of 25.

The good news for New Line and MGM is that If I Stay only cost $11 million to make.

If I Stay follows a 17-year-old girl whose family is killed in a car accident. The accident puts her in a coma, and as she wavers between life and death, she must decide if she'll fight to live for her boyfriend or join her family in death. R.J. Cutler is making his feature directorial debut on the adaptation of Gayle Forman's novel.

Sin City 2 earned a B- CinemaScore. Males made up 64 percent of the audience, while 78 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25. The sequel was originally supposed to open in Oct. 2013.

Dimension Films and The Weinstein Co. are releasing the R-rated sequel, which was financed and produced by Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions, Aldamisa, AR Films, Miramax and Solipsist. The movie sees returning castmembers Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. Although the producers wouldn't reveal the budget, the first Sin City cost $40 million.

Tracking services, which have been notoriously unreliable this summer, showed Sin City 2 opening to $15 million or more.

"We stand behind the film, and Robert is a member of the Weinstein family. We never expected this level of rejection. It's like the ice bucket challenge without the good cause, and is a major disappointment," said TWC distribution chief Erik Lomis.

Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis and Alexander Ludwig star in When the Game Stands Tall, which is based on the story of Northern California high school De La Salle's 151-game winning streak, and what happened after the team finally lost. The movie earned an A- CinemaScore.

Fox's R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops fell less than 40 percent in its second weekend to place No. 4 with $11 million for a domestic total of $45.2 million.

The Weinstein Co. and Walden Media's YA film adaptation The Giver placed No. 6 in its second weekend, dipping 45 percent to $6.7 million for a total $24.1 million. The movie, which opened $12.3 million last weekend, was no doubt hurt by If I Stay.

Lionsgate and Millennium's The Expendables 3 took the No. 7 spot, tumbling 58 percent in its second outing to $6.6 million after a franchise worst $15.9 million debut. The movie, hurt by piracy and franchise fatigue, has earned a total $27.5 million in North America.

Next Up: It's Summer 2014's last gasp. On Wednesday Pierce Brosnan is set to play an ex-Central Intelligence Agency operative in The November Man He finds himself pitted against his former pupil (Luke Bracey) in a deadly game involving high-level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect.  The two are in a race to find a woman (Olga Kurylenko) hiding from her past who holds the key to the international conspiracy.

Roger Donaldson ("Dante's Peak") directs the film which is based on Bill Granger's novel "There Are No Spies"--as part of the November Man book series. A sequel has already been greenlit.

The found footage flick As Above, So Below, directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil), is unearthed. A team of explorers venture into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. Dowdle wrote the script with his brother, , and the film stars Ben Feldman, Perdita Weeks, and Edwin Hodge.

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