A handful of modest openers, quite in keeping with August standards, ensured that holdovers Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles maintained the two top spots at the box office over last weekend. Their positions were reversed, though, as Guardians held on to an even larger audience than expected yet again. It will close as the highest grossing film from the first two thirds of 2014.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy ($17,202,212)
Guardians becomes the first film to climb back to the No. 1 position since Frozen in January. Its 31.5% decline on last weekend is its smallest yet, and it now looks likely to close over $300 million - way higher than expectations, again rather like Frozen's performance. That's way higher than any other film so far this year.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($16,725,447)
3. If I Stay ($15,679,190)
Despite claiming first place at the box office on Friday, teen romance If I Stay fell to third for the weekend overall. Hype burned off demand on opening day, meaning that the film suffered a narrow defeat to the two top holdovers. This is a fine start for the Chloe Moretz starrer, though not nearly on par with this summer's similar movie The Fault in Our Stars.
4. Let's Be Cops ($10,810,533)
5. When the Game Stands Tall ($8,381,509)
I don't know a lot about When the Game Stands Tall since, like most Christian movies, it's barely known about in the UK and I couldn't give a shit about looking it up. This opening gross is in line with most expecations for the sports drama.
6. The Expendables 3 ($6,485,385)
7. The Giver ($6,434,240)
8. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For ($6,317,683)
Failing to sell a fifth as many tickets as its nine-year-plus-old predecessor, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's badly-reviewed sequel's opening ranks fourth lowest in Rodriguez's career to date. Only his debut, El Mariachi, and Shorts and Machete Kills opened lower.
9. The Hundred-Foot Journey ($5,339,006)
10. Into the Storm ($3,803,309)
It's almost certain, with this strong opening, that Love Is Strange will eventually close as the highest grossing film in Ira Sachs' career yet. A $23,455 per-theatre average is the weekend's top.
42. The One I Love ($48,059)
A fair start for this alternative romance, for which Radius-TWC even reported VOD grosses alongside theatrical ones, a practice almost unheard-of in the industry.
66. Expedition to the End of the World ($6,635)
A quiet opening in just one cinema for the well-reviewed film, which is one of fewer than 20 films released by Argot in their U.S. box office history.
74. Kabbalah Me ($2,196)
77. K2: Siren of the Himalayas ($1,421)
81. Ragnarok ($522)
Is this it? Big-budget Norwegian action-adventure was trickled into one theatre by Magnolia, and just about no-one cared.
As Above / So Below and The November Man vie for the Labour Day first place spot this coming weekend, though neither will mark huge grosses.