UPDATED, Monday, 2:34 PM: After a bad weekend for newcomers, made worse by tracking numbers that artificially inflated expectations, Guardians Of The Galaxy emerged as the box office champ, one of the top grossers of the year as well as the top title of this summer with $251.4M so far … though Disney proclaimed the summer began early with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which has grossed $259.7M. Of the newcomers, the low-budgeted If I Stay (the studio claims $11M not adding in marketing and distribution costs) from Warner Bros ended up the best opener of the bunch with $15.6M. The $60M-to-$70M-budgeted Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (doesn’t include marketing/distrib costs), which was a Aldamisa production (which pre-sold international) and distributed by The Weinstein Co, bombed badly with a measly $6.3M. When The Game Stands Tall, which costs around $18M (not including costs), ended the weekend with $8.3M. The year-to-date box office from January to August 24 is down 5.1%. The summer from May 2 through this past weekend is down 14.7% from 2013. However, driven by the strong showings of Guardians and Ninja Turtles, August so far is up 11.9% from last year.

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Next weekend: Debuting for the Labor Day holiday is The November Man from Relativity, which bows on Wednesday — so it’s gonna be a loooong box office weekend. The spy thriller is directed by Roger Donaldson and stars Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey and Olga Kurylenko. There are tracking numbers, but given the dismal track record on them, I will say only that this is expected to be a moderate opening. Also debuting is Legendary Pictures’ As Above, So Below which Universal is handling. The expectation for this horror film is low teens.

scott
3 months
Saw Sin City 2 at the one two f showing which was at 8 pm. One other...
IO
3 months
Rodriquez is like Kevin Smith....A great debut movie followed up with endless crap.
Kelly
3 months
I think the bigger news is how bad If I Stay did. Chloe isn't going to happen...

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Lionsgate is also putting its biopic Catinflas into the market this weekend in moderate release. The film is based on the truly beloved Mexican actor-producer-screenwriter who American audiences would remember for his characteristic mustache. Loved watching this guy as a kid. Also, two re-releases coming into the marketplace — TWC’s audience fave Begin Again which stars Mark Ruffalo, Kiera Knightly and Adam Levine and Open Road Films’s Chef i which should push the latter past the $30M mark; it has tallied a total of $12.6M as of today in international markets. Great job for this little film from Jon Favreau. And, let’s see there’s … Ghostbusters. What?! Yes, for the 30th anniversary of the classic Harold Ramis film, which Sony is re-releasing in 750+ theaters.

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Here’s the Top 20 chart:

1). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 3,371 theaters (-326) / 3-day cume: $17.2M / Per screen average: $5,103 / Total cume: $251.4M / Wk 4

2). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,864 theaters (-116) / 3-day est. cume: $16.7M / Per screen: $4,239 / Total cume: $145.5M / Wk 3

3). If I Stay (WB), 2,907 theaters / 3-day cume: $15.6M / Per screen: $5,394 / Wk 1

4). Let’s Be Cops (FOX), 3,140 theaters (+46) / 3-day cume: $10.8M (-39%) / Per screen: $3,443 / Total cume: $45M / Wk 2

5). When the Game Stands Tall (SONY), 2,673 theaters / 3-day cume: $8.38M / Per screen: $3,136 / Wk 1

6). The Expendables 3 (LGF), 3,221 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $6.48M (-59%) / Per screen: $2,013 / Total cume: $27.4M / Wk 2

7). The Giver (TWC), 3,003 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $6.43M (-48%) / Per screen: $2,143 / Total cume: $23.8M / Wk 2

8). Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (TWC), 2,894 theaters / 3-day cume: $6.3M / Per screen: $2,183 / Wk 1

9). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 1,944 theaters (-99) / 3-day cume: $5.3M / Per screen: $2,746 / Total cume: $32.5M / Wk 3

10). Into The Storm (WB), 2,375 theaters (-1,059) / 3-day cume: $3.8M / Per screen: $1,601 / Total cume: $38.3M / Wk 3

11).  Lucy (UNI), 1,768 theaters (-752) / 3-day cume: $3.46M / Per screen: $1,959 / Total cume: $113.7M / Wk 5

12). Boyhood (IFC), 723 theaters (-48) / 3-day cume: $1.65M / Per screen: $2,287 / Total cume: $16.3M / Wk 7

13). Magic in the Moonlight (SPC), 787 theaters (-177) / 3-day cume: $1.2M / Per screen: $1,539 / Total cume: $6.7M / Wk 5

14). Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (FOX), 733 theaters (-529 ) / 3-day cume: $1M / Per screen: $14.69M / Total cume: $203.9M / Wk 7

15). Get On Up (UNI), 579 theaters (-522) / 3-day cume: $932K / Per screen: $1,611 / Total cume: $28.7M / Wk 4

16). A Most Wanted Man (ROADSIDE), 433 theaters (-211) / 3-day cume: $853K / Per screen: $1,971 / Total cume: $14M / Wk 5

17). Hercules (PAR), 622 theaters (-853) / 3-day cume: $849K / Per screen: $1,366 / Total cume: $69.9M / Wk 5

18). Step Up All In (LGF), 948 theaters (-1,124) / 3-day cume: $724K / Per screen: $764 / Total cume: $13.6M / Wk 3

19). What If (CBS), 680 theaters (-107) / 3-day cume: $668K / Per screen: $984 / Total cume: $2.2M / Wk 3

20). Maleficent (DIS), 344 theaters (+100) / 3-day cume: $591K / Per screen: $1,718 / Total cume: $237.6M / Wk 13

UPDATED, Sunday, 7:30 AM: Tentpole holdovers Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a one-two punch this weekend with an estimated $17.5M and $16.6M, respectively, and sits atop the box office for another week. Guardians is fast approaching $500M worldwide (see our international box office report for more). In these dog days of summer, If I Stay dropped to third place on Saturday and will end the weekend with a $16.3M gross. The Warner Bros./MGM/New Line romancer propelled only by young females — which tend to go to their movies in packs if they go — performed the best of the three newcomers. 628x471The other two newbies were Sony’s sports biopic When the Game Stands Tall which ran in with about $8.7M (after a bit of a bump from the family audience yesterday) and TWC’s Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For which couldn’t be restarted on Saturday, even with a defibrillator. It was DOA with a mere $6.3M.

dameto-killI bet TWC was glad it didn’t produce this monster — that was done by Aldamisa which pre-sold the picture heavily overseas. The effects house Prime Focus also invested $12.5M.

RELATED: Prime Focus Swaps VFX, 3D Work For Stake In Sin City 2

It was a bad weekend for all the newcomers, to say the least. The biggest disappointment — outside how truly horrible the tracking has been for the industry, especially over the past few months — is that Sin City 2, truly a visual stunner but with a budget of anywhere between $60M and $70M, is unlikely to make a penny back.

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One very savvy observer opined that the black and white eye candy would have likely been dumped at a major studio and sent directly to home entertainment but because of the pre-sales it was prudent to release domestically to try to get a smaller write-off. I bet the Russians who invested in this tanker are none too happy … how many Russians does it take to make a bomb? It looks like four or five. The first installment opened to $29.1M in 2005 — so this one opened 79% below that.

Regarding When the Game Stands Tall, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, Rory Bruer, noted: “The film was made on a modest budget and the film’s marketing budget was also grassroots so it was modest as well.” The studio said it screened the picture heavily at high schools and colleges and with NFL coaches and players to help create buzz for the film; they did the same to garner support from leaders of local charities and faith organizations. “I think it’s going to have a good multiple,” said Bruer. “We had an A- CinemaScore and great exit polls. We think it’s going to be around for a long time.”

The movies in their second frame dropped as follows: Fox’s R-rated buddy comedy, Let’s Be Cops, 40% to end the weekend with about $10.8M; The Giver, 45% to bring in $6.5M and The Expendables 3, 59% for around $6.47M. Here’s the Top Ten chart:

1). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 3,371 theaters (-326) / $4.8M Fri. / $7.5M Sat. /$5.2M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $17.6M / Total cume: $251.9M / Wk 4

2). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,864 theaters (-116) / $4.5M Friday / $7.2M Sat. / $5M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day est. cume: $16.75M / Total est. cume: $145.5M / Wk 3

3). If I Stay (WB), 2,907 theaters / $6.8M Fri. / $5.6M Sat. / $4.2M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $16.35M / Wk 1

4). Let’s Be Cops (FOX), 3,140 theaters (+46) / $3.2M Fri. / $4.4M Sat. / $3.1M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $10.8M (-40%) / Total cume: $45M / Wk 2

5). When the Game Stands Tall (SONY), 2,673 theaters / $2.9M Fri. / $3.3M Sat. / $2.7M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $8.75M / Wk 1

6). The Giver (TWC), 3,003 theaters (0) / $2M Fri. / $2.74M Sat. / $1.9M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $6.7M (-46%) / Total cume: $24.1M / Wk 2

7/8). The Expendables 3 (LGF), 3,221 theaters (0) / $1.8M Fri. / $2.7M Sat. / $1.9M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $6.47M (-59%) / Total cume: $27.5M / Wk 2

Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (TWC), 2,894 theaters / $2.6M Fri. / $2.1M Sat. / $1.7M Sun. (-20%) / $6.35M / Wk 1

9). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 1,944 theaters (-99) / $1.58M Fri. / $2.3M Sat. / $1.5M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $5.4M / Total cume: $32.65M / Wk 3

10). Into The Storm (WB), 2,375 theaters (-1,059) / $1M Fri. / $1.7M Sat. / $1.1M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $3.8M / Total cume: $38.3M / Wk 3

UPDATED, Saturday, 11:20 PM: Guardians of the Galaxy continues to hold the No. 1 spot in this weekend’s box office for Disney/Marvel as estimates have the newly created franchise pulling in around $7.5M or so today. That puts it at around $17.3M to $18M for the weekend. Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and newcomer If I Stay (WB/MGM) are going to be close as I’ve calculated $16.7M to $17M for the reptiles and $16.6M for the romancer based on the numbers I’m seeing now.

The holdover comedy Let’s Be Cops is next with roughly a $4.45M day so it’s on track to walk in $10.68M to $11M for Fox. Rounding out the Top Five is Sony’s When the Game Stands Tall which grossed about $3.45M today after a little bump on Saturday from families audiences (which helped the tentpole holdovers, too). We expect, the sports biopic to land around $9M which is right in line with this morning’s estimates.

And where is Sin City 2, you ask? I can’t find it any … oh, wait, there it is … No. 8 with an estimated $2.2M gross today to to put it on track for a colorless $6.5M. Until the morning, that’s the black and white of it. Oh, and the box office weekend looks to be up about 6% from last year.

The-Guardians-of-the-GalaxyUPDATED, Saturday, 7:52 AM: The positions are clearer this AM but the dog days of summer have arrived and it’s not pretty: Of the three lifeless newcomers, the YA adaptation starring Chloe Grace Moretz If I Stay (Warner Bros./MGM) had the best opening of the bunch with a $6.8M Fri. night for a three-day expected around $16.5M and looks to place No. 2. It is a completely young female-driven gross. But Moretz and Jamie Blackley are no Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (Fault in Our Stars). The studio is hoping to get some of the older female audiences to raise its cume on Saturday. Will be watching the percentages very closely on this one between If I Stay and Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio claims it is an $11M budget — which I have found through experience that what studio’s claim is usually under the real budget number — so it has a way to go to become profitable. It depends on the multiple and may be so after its home entertainment run.

Rising back to the top in this soft market is Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy which had a lower Friday but, according to estimates, will end up with a $17.5M to $17.7M three-day weekend. With a strong multiple already and a critical favorite, the Star Lord has cumed $252M+ in four weeks of release. Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is No. 3 at the moment for around $16M or a three-week cume of $144.8M as it should get a slight boost from family audiences today (as will Guardians).

Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-3But, Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For is the elephant — er, pig — in the room. And with a B- CinemaScore, let’s face it, you can’t put lipstick on a pig and call it a dame. It’s a visual stunner but it probably waited too dang long for a sequel — the first one came out in 2005 so nine years ago — so this one is grinding to a slow halt. It’ll come in No. 6 and looks to take $6.8M to $7M, depending on today’s interest (which there ain’t much of). Waiting for something special from the waning career of director Robert Rodriguez.

sylvester-stallone-expendables-3Speaking of no-profit bombs, the weekend would not be complete without mentioning the second frame of The Expendables 3 which is sagging by the day for Avi Lerner’s Millennium Entertainment and Lionsgate to make only $26M to $27M after two weeks in release. The only thing that’s tough about this film is having to look at its grosses. It looks to fall around 64%.

Besting Sin City 2 is Fox’s R-rated buddy comedy Let’s Be Cops at No. 4 (which added a handful of screens to drop about 43%) and Sony’s newcomer When the Game Stands Tall, a biopic about a football coach that inspires his high school players to greatness. Alexander Ludwig in TriStar Pictures' WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL.It stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis and Laura Dern. The studio is hoping the family audiences (and faith-based folks) will find this film over the weekend as yesterday took in $2.9M for a hopeful $10M three-day gross, but other estimates take the average lower to $8.4M to $9.2M which is probably more realistic. Affirm Films was driving the marketing behind the scenes to boost interest among the sports and faith-based audiences. It was heavily screened to that audience, which seem to like this one; it got an A- so we can expect a decent multiple. The audience on this film is a pretty even 50/50 split among male and females, which is kind of surprising.

The other pic playing in its sophomore frame: TWC’s The Giver — another YA novel brought to the big screen and grabbing some of the same demo away from opener If I Stay — will drop only about 45%. It held its screens. Here’s the chart:

1). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 3,371 theaters (-326) / $4.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $17.7M / Total cume: $252M / Wk 4

2). If I Stay (WB), 2,907 theaters / $6.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $15.5M to $16.5M (could go higher) / Wk 1

3). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,864 theaters (-116) / $4.5M Friday / 3-day est. cume: $16M / Total est. cume: $144.8M / Wk 3

4). Let’s Be Cops (FOX), 3,140 theaters (+46) / $3.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10M to $10.7M (-43%) / Total cume: $44M to $45M / Wk 2

5). When the Game Stands Tall (SONY), 2,673 theaters / $2.9M Fri. / 3-day cume: $8.8M to $9.2M / Wk 1

6). Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (TWC), 2,894 theaters / $2.6M Fri. / $6.7M to $7M / Wk 1

7). The Giver (TWC), 3,003 theaters (0) / $2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $6.7M (-46%) / Total cume: $23.5M to $24M / Wk 2

8). The Expendables 3 (LGF), 3,221 theaters (0) / $1.8M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.9M to $6.5M (-66%) / Total cume: $26M to $27M / Wk 2

9). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 1,944 theaters (-99) / $1.58M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.5M to $6M (-23%) / Total cume: $32.65M / Wk 3

10). Into The Storm (WB), 2,375 theaters (-1,059) / $1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.6M / Total cume: $38M+ / Wk 3

UPDATED, Friday, 11:30 PM: Talk about a rough weekend at the nation’s box office. No one cares about the new offerings and Sin City 2 is a total bomb in a weekend where all the newcomers are crashing. Although Warner Bros.’ If I Stay debuted with the best Friday night (see chart below), it won’t take the weekend. Marvel fans will be happy as Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy is expected take the No. 1 box office spot after trailing Turtles for three weeks running. It looks to grab $17.2M to $17.6M for the three-day climbing back into the lead spot after four weeks in release.

-f6334d9c-b1bb-490f-821e-89ec7f544754Warner Bros.’ YA adaptation If I Stay from MGM was the best of the lifeless newcomers and took Friday night with anywhere from $6.3M to $6.7M; that means it’s good for roughly $15.5M to $16.5M — well under what it was tracking. It also received an A- CinemaScore from its core audience. It’s too close to tell what will get the No. 2 spot as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is estimated in the $15.2M to $16.2M range right now.

Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For plummeted into box office hell throughout the day and will likely only take $6M to $7M on a budget of between $60M and $70M (not counting marketing and distribution costs). A complete disaster. MV5BMTQ5NDMzOTI3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjU4MTMyMjE@._V1_SY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_Neither critics nor audiences cared for this one; it received a B- CinemaScore.

It even fell behind the new sports biopic When the Games Stands Tall which is scrambling with $8M to $10M on a budget of $18M (and that’s without the marketing and distribution costs). On the bright side, it got an A- CinemaScore so should have a better multiple for Sony. Summer clearly ended a couple of weekends ago.

The Expendables 3 is in quicksand, off about 66% in its sophomore frame in the same amount of theaters. The other YA adaptation in the marketplace — TWC’s The Giver — will lose about 48% from last week but held onto its screens. And, the R-rated comedy Let’s Be Cops from Fox, drops only 45% to take No. 4 in a very, very soft weekend. The Hundred-Foot Journey once again, has the best hold of the Top Ten, and will be down only about 23% for the three-day. That’s a snapshot tonight. There are many pictures that are very close in three-day estimates tonight so positions and numbers may change in the AM and throughout Saturday. Here’s what it looks like right now:

1). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 3,371 theaters (-326) / $4.7M to $4.9M Fri. / 3-day cume: $17.2M to $17.6M / Total cume: $252M / Wk 4

2/3). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 3,864 theaters (-116) / $4.3M to $4.5M Friday / 3-day est. cume: $15.2M to $16.2M / Total est. cume: $145M / Wk 3

If I Stay (WB), 2,907 theaters / $6.3M to $6.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $15.5M to $16.5M / Wk 1

4/5). Let’s Be Cops (FOX), 3,140 theaters (+46) / $3.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $9.7M to $10.3M (-45%) / Total cume: $44M / Wk 2

When the Game Stands Tall (SONY), 2,673 theaters / $2.8M to $3.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $8M to $10M / Wk 1

6). Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (TWC), 2,894 theaters / $2.6M Fri. / $6M to $7M / Wk 1

7). The Giver (TWC), 3,003 theaters (0) / $2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $6M (-48%) / Total cume: $23.8M / Wk 2

8). The Expendables 3 (LGF), 3,221 theaters (0) / $1.8M to $2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.6M to $5.9M (-66%) / Total cume: $26M to $27M / Wk 2

9). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 1,944 theaters (-99) / $1.5M to $1.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.5M to $6M (-23%) / Total cume: $32.7M / Wk 3

10). Into The Storm (WB), 2,375 theaters (-1,059) / $1.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4M+ / Total cume: $38.6M / Wk 3

Lucy (UNI), 1,768 theaters (-752) / $1.1M Fri. / 3-day cume $3.8M to $4M / Total cume: $113.9M / Wk 5

PREVIOUSLY, Friday, 6:24 PM: Have been watching matinee numbers and now early evening gross roll in and it’s painful to watch movie going so soft this weekend. Summer is winding down, er, barely breathing. Bearing the brunt of the newbies is Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For from director Robert Rodriguez. On a budget that is somewhere between $60M and $70M, the second Sin is descending quickly into hell. This tanker is now tracking somewhere between $8M and $10M for the three-day. Its matinee numbers were behind (in order) No. 1 newcomer If I Stay, the holdovers Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the new sports biopic When the Game Stands Tall.

IF-I-STAY-new-still-featureTrue, the R-rated audience is just now finding their way into theaters, but TWC’s Sin City is over with. Warner Bros.’ If I Stay, produced by MGM, may end up grabbing about $6M tonight (which includes the $1.1M late nights) for an overall take of anywhere between $14M to $18M and even that was expected higher going into the weekend. A combination of bad tracking and a soft day/evening for moviegoing is torturing all these pics. This weekend comes as most kids across the country went back to school this week.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsMeanwhile, the football pic When the Game Stands Tall is expected to earn anywhere from $2.7M to $3.5M tonight after all is scored, touching down for a three-day of maybe $8M to $10M for Sony, which would keep it in line with comparison pictures’ Draft Day ($9.7M) and Million Dollar Arm ($10.5M). That’s how it looks right now, and everyone is hoping that the moviegoing steps up a bit tonight. More to come later.