Box Office Top 10 Film News

Box Office: Older Women Turn No Good Deed Into a Hit, Guardians Crosses Milestone

Here’s what happened at the domestic box office this weekend: Guardians of the Galaxy passed $300 million both domestically and internationally, No Good Deed was the first film to open above $20m since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dolphin Tale 2 somewhat failed to convince audiences it was significantly different enough from the first Dolphin Tale.  Internationally, Lucy continued its hot streak, opening big in Russia. Let’s do the numbers:

Top 10 Estimated Domestic Totals (9/12-9/14)

1. No Good Deed (Opening Weekend)


  • Weekend Gross=$24.5 million
  • Budget=$13.2 million

Foreign: No international box office yet

I’ll admit it: I had no real idea what to expect from No Good Deed.  Sure, it stars the infinitely appealing Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, both of whom have their own fanbases.  But this, i.e., September, is a historically weak time for new movies.  Then again, we haven’t had a new African-American-leaning film since late June when Kevin Hart’s Think Like a Man Too slightly under-performed.  So, maybe this was an audience ready to be tapped again.  Then again, would they be deterred by the dreadful reviews, (12% on RottenTomatoes) with critics calling No Good Deed “dull, derivative” and a waste of the actor’s talents as well as the audience’s time?  However, this appears to be an critic-proof release, with 71% of RottenTomatoes readers liking it and opening night moviegoers grading it as a B+ on CinemaScore.  Plus, the audience that turned this into a hit was one we’ve heard about a lot with film attendance this summer: women, with No Good Deed pulling in 60% female, 59% over the age of 30.  They helped make this the first movie to open with more than $20m since TMNT over a month ago.

2. Dolphin Tale 2 (Opening Weekend)


  • Weekend Gross=$16.5 million
  • Budget=$36 million

Foreign: No international box office yet

The first Dolphin Tale cost $37m to make, and opened to $19m in September 2011.  It ultimately ended up with $72.2m domestic/$95.4m worldwide, keeping in mind those totals were slightly inflated since the film played in 3D.  This opening for its sequel is 14% lower, and of the “not bad, not great” variety.  It did score a A on CinemaScore, though, and is the type of family friendly film which typically have long tails. I swear…I wasn’t trying to make some kind of “tail”/”dolphin tale” pun there.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy 


  • Weekend Gross=$8 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$305.9 million
  • Budget=$170 million

Foreign: A new international/worldwide split of $305.6m/$611.5m.

Well, that was close.  For the longest time it was looking like this was going to be the first summer since 2001 to not produce a movie which made at least $300m at the domestic box office.  At this point, though, it’s just a matter of checking to see where Guardians now sits in comparison to other comic book movies.  Domestically, it’s now behind only all three Iron Man films and The Avengers among the Marvel Studios releases.  When you look at all comic book movies, it has moved ahead of Man of Steel ($291m), but still trails all 3 Sam Raimi Spider-Man films as well The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.  Its worldwide total still places it even further behind all of those big comic book movies, but it still has China coming in the second week of October.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 

TMNT 2014 Michaelangelo

  • Weekend Gross=$4.8 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$181 million
  • Budget=$125-150 million

Foreign: A new international/worldwide split of $138.9m/$319.9m

Relative to its opening weekend,TMNT continues to show legs right smack dab in the middle of the summer’s biggest movies, better than the ridiculously front-loaded Godzilla and Amazing Spider-Man 2 but not quite as good as the freakishly long-lived Guardians of the Galaxy.   The result is that TMNT now has an outside shot of finishing right around $200m domestic.  It’s big money going forward, though, is overseas, with Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.K. all awaiting their turn.

5. Let’s Be Cops

Lets Be Cops

  • Weekend Gross=$4.3 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$72.9 million
  • Budget=$17 million

Foreign: A new international/worldwide split of $21.5m/$94.5m

This isn’t Neighbors/22 Jump Street-level business, but it’s better than some would have guessed when the debacle in Ferguson, MO happened during Let’s Be Cops opening weekend and made the concept of cops abusing their power no laughing matter.  However, while a film like The Watch appeared to crumble under the weight of the Trayvon Martin shooting Let’s Be Cops is doing perfectly fine for itself.  The lesson here might be that real world incidents don’t really sink a film’s box office performance as much as the studios on the losing end like to make it seem afterward.

6. The Drop (Opening Weekend)

The Drop Film

  • Weekend Gross=$4.2 million
  • Budget=They’d rather not say

Foreign: No international box office yet

This is a surprisingly strong start for The Drop, James Gandolfini’s final film, which was only playing in just over 800 theaters this weekend.  However, both the solid reviews (88% on RottenTomatoes) and simple curiosity to see the man who was Tony Soprano in his final performance was a perfect recipe for success.

7. If I Stay 


  • Weekend Gross=$4 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$44.9 million
  • Budget=$11 million

Foreign: A new international/worldwide split of $15.6m/$60.5m

The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay‘s clear spiritual cousin, ended up as the most profitable film of the summer, with a worldwide gross 24 times its’ production budget.  If I Stay isn’t doing anywhere near that kind of business, but it was never going to for a variety of reasons.  However, if you spent $11m to make a movie (as with If I Stay) with presumably no more than another $10m on marketing, and you find yourself looking up at a worldwide gross of $60.6m that’d seem like a pretty good deal.

8. The November Man


  • Weekend Gross=$2.7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$22.4 million
  • Budget=$20 million

Foreign: No international box office yet

he November Man follows an ex-CIA agent (Brosnan) who is brought back for one more mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil.  It has played mostly to older males, and is performing behind the pace of comparable Labor Day films like The American, The Debt and Lawless, each of which had bigger openings and ended with at least $30m in total domestic gross.  However, this is a real passion project for Brosnan, who’s been attempting to get this made since 2006.  In fact, they’ve already announced that a sequel is in development with Relativity Media.

9. The Giver 

The Giver

  • Weekend Gross=$2.6 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$41.3 million
  • Budget=$25 million

Foreign: A new international/worldwide split of $5.6m/$46.9m

This has actually shown some decent staying power since pulling in a meager $12.3m its opening weekend.  As such, it has now outperformed similar August releases like last year’s Mortal Instruments and its final domestic gross of $31.1m.  Sure, getting to say you did better than Mortal Instruments is a fairly low bar in the YA game, but The Giver has a fair shot of doubling its production budget if it performs well in the big international markets (e.g., Brazil, Italy, UK, Germany, France) it has on the way through the end of October.

10. The Hundred-Foot Journey 

  • thf-jornay-trailerWeekend Gross=$2.4 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$49.4 million
  • Budget=$22 million

Foreign: No official international box office yet, though it appears to be less than $15m with plenty more foreign territories left to go over the next 2 months

Movies that skew older tend to have longer tails because old people can’t be bothered to rush out and see something in its first 3 days, which has allowed Hundred-Foot Journey to display some of the best legs of the summer, now up to a 4.5 opening weekend/total gross multiplier (the average for the summer’s biggest movies was 2.8).  More importantly, though, it has more than doubled its budget, and has actually out-grossed its most comparable film, 2012’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which ended with $46.4m domestic.  Of course, that movie cleaned up internationally with $90.4m while Hundred-Foot Journey hasn’t quite gotten started in that department.

What Fell Out of the Top 10?:

When the Game Stands Tall (#8 to #11), As Above/So Below (#6 to #12), Lucy (#10 to #13).  Lucy added another $1.5m to its domestic total this weekend, bringing its domestic/worldwide split up to $123.5m/$354.5m.  The real story is happening overseas where Lucy racked up $25m this weekend, coming in at No. 1 in Russia, Norway, Colombia and Ecuador.  It was the biggest 2D opening of the year in Russia.

What’s Up Next?:

The Maze Runner hits us next weekend, but it actually opened in 5 markets this weekend, debuting at #1 in all 5 with a bigger opening weekend.  It also opened higher than Divergent in all 5 of those markets.  It’s going to have a bunch of company next weekend, though, with This Is Where I Leave You, Kevin Smith’s Tusk, and A Walk Among the Tombstones (aka, Liam Neeson’s latest) all opening wide.  There has been a real lull at the box office these past couple of weeks, but at the very least next weekend is going to offer us a bunch of moviegoing options.


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