B.O. Roundup, August 1-3: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Dances Past August Record

Sunday, 03 August 2014 12:13 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, August 1-3: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Dances Past August Record

We were all Groot this weekend.

Guardians of the Galaxy proved the potency of the Marvel Studios brand, launching a new franchise and setting the record for the biggest August opening in box office history.

Alternate headline: A James Gunn movie is the number one film in America, earning an estimated $94.0 million from 4,080 theaters in the U.S. and Canada.

To put that $94.0 million estimate in the context of Gunn's work so far, his other two directorial endeavors (Super and Slither) combined made just over $8 million theatrically.

The previous holder of the August record, The Bourne Ultimatum, debuted to $69.3 million back in 2007.  Guardians of the Galaxy not only zipped past that figure, but it also outpaced this summer's X-Men and Spider-Man sequels. 

Among its Marvel Studios brethren, Guardians opened even higher than Thor: The Dark World ($85.7 million) and came fairly close to matching the $95 million debut of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  So Guardians of the Galaxy actually enjoyed the third-biggest opening of 2014 so far, behind only The Winter Soldier and Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Another August record: $11.7 million from IMAX showings.

Just a few months ago, the average moviegoer had never heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a smartass space opera featuring a talking raccoon isn't exactly the easiest sell.  There aren't even any cameos by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, yet Guardians of the Galaxy is a huge critical and commercial success.  It even drew a much more substantial female audience (44%) than any other blockbuster in the Marvel Studios constellation of franchises.

Lucky for moviegoers who gave the movie an A CinemaScore exit poll, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is already scheduled for July 2017.

With Peter Quill and the Galactic Experience hogging the spotlight, this weekend saw only one other new wide release, the James Brown biopic Get On Up.

Director Tate Taylor's follow-up to The Help opened in third place, behind Lucy.  According to estimates, Get On Up earned $14.0 million from 2,468 theaters in North America.  The film, which stars 42's Chadwick Boseman has strong reviews, but with four major new releases on the way next week, Get On Up will face plenty of competition.

Here are the top ten movies, along with current estimates for their weekend grosses:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy...................................$94.0 million..............New Release

2. Lucy....................................................................$18.2 million..............$79.5 million

3. Get On Up...........................................................$14.0 million..............New Release

4. Hercules.............................................................$10.7 million..............$52.3 million

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes........................$8.7 million................$189.3 million

6. Planes: Fire & Rescue.......................................$6.4 million................$47.5 million

7. The Purge: Anarchy..........................................$5.5 million................$62.9 million

8. Sex Tape............................................................$3.5 million................$33.9 million

9. And So It Goes..................................................$3.3 million................$10.4 million

10. A Most Wanted Man........................................$3.3 million................$7.0 million

Compared to last summer, the dog days of 2014 have seen a big downturn at the box office.  This weekend, though, 2014 compares favorably to the same frame in 2013.  Specifically, the top twelve marks an uptick of 40% from last August, when 2 Guns and The Wolverine ruled.

Next Friday, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Step Up: All In, Into the Storm, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles join the box office fray.  Will any of them unseat Guardians of the Galaxy atop the heap?

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