Box Office Recap: Why 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Surpassed Expectations
"Guardians of the Galaxy" won the box office this past weekend, beating out all expectations and obtaining one of the best openings of the year.
After most pundits predicted that the new Marvel film would open with $75 million, "Guardians" surprised and mustered up a record-breaking $94 million. The movie obtained the highest opening for an August release, surpassing 2007's "The Bourne Ultimatum", which pulled in $69.3 million during its release. The Marvel film's great reviews and strong marketing campaign were two key components for the success.
Additionally, the film's fresh look and comic components also made it a refreshing for audiences tired of action blockbusters and genre pictures.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" now has the third-highest opening of the year behind "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." With no competition ahead, the Marvel flick now has a chance of surpassing the $200 million mark.
In second place, Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" was off 58 percent from its opening weekend. The science fiction action film added another $18 million and brought its total to $79 million. "Lucy" will likely reach the $100 million before the end of its run.
In third place, "Get On Up" fared worse than expected and made $14 million. There were high expectations for the feature as it scored rave reviews and tells the story of James Brown, an important and popular musical icon.
The biopic fared worse than similar August releases, "Lee Daniel's The Butler" and "The Help." Both of those features opened with more than $24 million and ended up reaching the $100 million mark. Unless word-of-mouth is high, "Get On Up" is unlikely to reach the success of either of those films.
"Hercules" imploded on its second weekend dropping more than 63 percent. The film made $10.7 million and brought its disappointing total to $52 million. The CGI-driven picture will likely fall short of the $100 million mark, which is what the film was budgeted at.
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" continued to hold strongly as it added another $8.7 million to its total. The film now ranks as the highest grossing film in the franchise with $189 million. It should have no trouble surpassing $200 million in coming weeks.
"Planes: Fire and Rise" made another $6.4 million. While it is unlikely to reach the heights of its predecessor, the sequel's $47 million gross could be considered a relative success.
Two indie films made the top 10 and 11 spots. Philip Seymour Hoffman's "A Most Wanted Man" added another $3.3 million and brought its total to $7 million. The thriller has been receiving positive word-of-mouth and recently expanded nationwide. The movie now looks headed to make more than $20 million and could be a big player come awards season,
Meanwhile, "Boyhood" continued to play strong as it expanded into 311 theaters. The film made an estimated $2.5 million and brought its total to $7.5 million. The IFC Films feature is now the company's third-highest grossing film in the company's history. The company is planning to expand the Richard Linklater film into 500 theaters next week.
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" may be lagging domestically, but internationally, the film broke the $1 billion mark. The mega blockbuster became the 19th film to reach the milestone. While the feature will most likely not reach the $250 million mark domestically, "Transformers" will likely become the 13th highest-grossing film worldwide by the end of its run.
In art house cinemas, "Magic in the Moonlight" continued to show promise. The film expanded into 65 theaters and made $770,000. That is equivalent to an outstanding $11,000 per theater average. The Woody Allen feature has now made $1.3 million in its first two weeks and Sony Pictures Classics will expand it into more theaters in the coming weeks.
Fox Searchlight had a solid opening with John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary." The film opened with $72,800 in four theaters. The company is planning to expand the film in the following weeks.
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