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Weekend Box Office: Yawn of the Dead as Guardians Tops Slowest Weekend in Two Years

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By Chris Kavan - 09/07/14 at 09:33 PM CT

The post-Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the slowest weekends of the year as it sits between the blockbuster summer and the Oscar-hopeful fall. But to put an emphasis on just how slow things can get, the total weekend brought in just $51.9 million - the slowest weekend in two years. In the past decade, only 2008's $50.3 million has been a worse September showing - and not by much. Of course it didn't help that the only new wide release completely bombed (not even cracking the top 10), leaving it to some summer favorites to try to hold the fort.


Guardians of the Galaxy was the only real winner this slow weekend. It joined a pretty elite club (The Dark Knight, Avatar and The Hunger Games) in becoming only the fourth film in the last decade to take the top spot for four weeks. With an additional $10.16 million, the film has brought in $294.5 million and should top the $300 million mark in the next few days. It surpassed last year's Man of Steel ($291 million) and, if it can keep up the pace, should be able to top the original Iron Man ($318 million) as it soldiers on into the fall. Given the fact this was not a well-known group of heroes - I don't think anyone could have predicted these results. But hand it to the excellent casting, great story and, yes, even an amazing soundtrack - Guardians is a breath of fresh air in a crowded superhero market.


Also repeating in second place, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is flirting with the $175 million mark. Taking in $6.5 million (off 46%), the film now stands at $174.6 million. Unlike Guardians, I still fail to see the appeal of this monstrosity, but enough people seem to like it (or have nothing better to do), so we're going to be forced to sit through at least one more film. Don't ask me why.


The drama took in $5.75 million (off a bit over 38%) raising its total to $39.66 million. Outside chances still have this topping $50 million, though it's going to be close. Still, on a roughly $11 million budget, it's looking like this is going to be nice, albeit minor, hit for the studio.


The cop comedy had the distinction of having the smallest drop out of any film in the top five, dipping just 35% in its fourth weekend. Taking in $5.4 million, Let's Be Cops now stands at a respectable $66.6 million (run away, it's the devil's movie now!). Once again, on a low $17 million budget, the movie is a certified hit.


The November Man also had the distinction of being the only movie in the top five to jump in the polls. Rising from 6th to 5th place (still dropping 47% of its audience). No one is going to be calling this one a hit, as the $4.2 million it brought in only gives it a $17.87 million total. It's probably going to stall at around $25 million - and that's with a little luck.

Outside the top five: The week's new release, The Identical, couldn't bring in any faithful audiences. It opened to a measly $1.9 million (11th place) far away from the impressive opening of God's Not Dead ($9.2 million) and not even close to the disappointing opening of Moms' Night Out ($4.2 million). Once again - just because you have some Christian angle doesn't mean you're going to get the religious crowd to support you if you have a stupid concept.

The only other release of not was the IMAX anniversary release of Forrest Gump - which turned into pretty much a non-event, taking in just $405,000 from 337 theaters (for comparison, Raiders of the Lost Ark brought in $1.67 million from 267 theaters back in 2012). I have a feeling the feel-good, somewhat saccharine nature of Forrest Gump just doesn't hold up as well as other films from the same era.

Next week, we have another feel-good movie in Dolphin Tale 2 and a gritty home invasion thriller in No Good Deed. Something tells me it's going to be another slow weekend, though at least it has more potential than this dreadfully slow result.


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