Guardians of the Galaxy tops the summer box office

2014-09-03 01:00

Los Angeles — The intergalactic misfits of Guardians of the Galaxy are the summer's box-office superheroes.

Marvel's cosmic romp topped the Labor Day box office with a three-day take of $22m its third time in first place since its release five weeks ago, according to studio estimates Monday. With North American ticket sales of more than $280m so far, Guardians is also the summer's and the year's  top-grossing film to date domestically.

Still, summer box-office totals are down almost 15% from last year, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.

"This is the lowest summer since 2006 in terms of revenue," he said. "Before Guardians' we were sitting on a 20% deficit compared to last year."

Transformers: Age of Extinction, which opened in late June, also boosted the summer box office with $1bn in global ticket sales. Maleficent was another hit, bringing in more than $230m domestically.

"This was never expected to be a record-breaking summer," Dergarabedian said, "but it maybe came in under expectations."

The World Cup may have distracted moviegoers, he said. Also, the death of Paul Walker caused the seventh installment of Fast & Furious which might have added around $200m to the summer box office to be postponed until next year.

Last summer broke box-office records with the success of Iron Man 3, Star Trek, The Heat and Despicable Me 2.

Big hits expected next summer

Next summer is expected to make history again with hotly anticipated releases including Star Wars, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Pixar's Inside Out.

"Summer of 2014 is a transitional summer between two record-breaking years," Dergarabedian said.

The top movies over the lackluster Labor Day holiday were the same as the previous weekend. Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles followed Guardians with $15.7m, while Warner Bros.' young-adult drama, If I Stay took third place with $11.6m.

"We went out with a whimper," Dergarabedian said. "We wound up a very exasperating summer on a very quiet note."

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