Remember how earlier in the year, several movies like Lucy and Jupiter Rising ran from their late July/early August release dates, and how two weeks ago, there was an absolute glut of movies released on the same weekend? There was a reason for that. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has long been on track to be one of the biggest movies of the summer, and it finally came out this weekend and proved everyone right. It opened to ecstatic reviews and $94 million for the weekend. That’s easily the highest opening weekend for an August movie by at least $25 million (The Bourne Ultimatum made $69 million back in 2007), and the third biggest opening for any movie this year. It also earned $66.4 million overseas and had an audience that was 56 percent men, suggesting not much crossover appeal but what should be decent legs.
The only movie willing to open against Star Lord and co. was a bit of counterprogramming, as is tradition, and it was a musical movie, as is tradition. In this case, it was the James Brown biopic Get On Up, which made $14 million for a third place finish. That’s not a terrible showing for the movie, especially considering its lack of stars and its $30 million budget, but it’s unlikely that the movie is going to break out the way that the last few August movies centered on black people (The Help and The Butler) did, nor is it going to break out the way biopics like Ray and Walk the Line did.
Last week’s releases had pretty steep drops, which was fine for one and not good for the other. The fine one was Lucy, which dropped 58 percent to an $18.2 million weekend and a $79.5 million total. Considering its $40 million budget and the fact that it has yet to open overseas, where Luc Besson movies do pretty well, it’s doing fine. Less fine is Hercules, which dropped 64 percent to $10,7 million and a $52.3 million total. It’s just passed its $100 million budget when including its $56 million overseas gross, but barely.
Next week brings the reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sure to be a huge hit, or not.