LOS ANGELES – Perhaps as a sign this summer couldn’t be over soon enough for Hollywood, the top three positions at the box office for the weekend were exactly the same as last week: “Guardians of the Galaxy” continued its surprising run with an estimated 3-day draw of $16.3 million, and with a cumulative total of $274.6 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, the film became the top box-office draw not only of the summer but of the year so far, passing “Captain America: The Winter Solider.”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” continued its surprising showing as well, bringing in an estimated $11.8 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative total of $162.4 million.
In its second weekend of release, the teen romantic drama “If I Stay” brought in an estimated $9.3 million for a new total of $29.8 million.
The best new opener of the weekend was the low-budget horror thriller “As Above, So Below” in the fourth spot, bringing in an estimated $8.3 million. In its third week, “Let’s Be Cops” came in fifth with an estimated $8.2 million for a new total of $57.3 million. “The November Man,” an espionage thriller starring Pierce Brosnan, opened in sixth place with an estimated three-day total of $7.7 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were “When the Game Stands Tall,” bringing in an estimated $5.6 million for the weekend and raising its total to $16.3 million; “The Giver,” with an estimated $5.2 million for a new total of $39.4 million; and “The Hundred-Foot Journey” with an estimated $4.6 million for a new total of $39.4 million. “The Expendables 3” came in 10th place with $3.5 million for a total of $33.1 million.
More estimates for the Labor Day holiday will be in Monday, but the summer box office looks to come in just above $4 billion, down some 15 percent from $4.75 billion in the summer of 2013.
“The summer of 2014 was confounding, it was exasperating, and it was a transition between one record summer in 2013 and what everyone believes will be a record summer in 2015,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak.
However, thanks to a strong spring, the total box office for the year so far stands at $7.2 billion, off only about 5 percent from last year. And with potential successes such as the latest “Hunger Games” and “Hobbit” films along with Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated “Interstellar” all still to come, 2014 could still turn itself around.
“This summer was just never predestined to be a record breaker,” Dergarabedian said. “And there were so many unquantifiable things. The World Cup may have had an effect as a distraction. The Fourth of July fell on a Friday, which no one in Hollywood wants.
“But no one is saying, is this the end of going to the movies. Because we all know it’s not.”