Weekend Box Office: I Am Groot

This year has been unimpressive at the box office, and that trend continued this weekend with the lowest collective grosses in two years.

With only one barely-advertised new wide release, the majority of the Top 10 is unchanged from last week.

Guardians of the Galaxy‘ remained in the top spot with $10.1 million in its sixth week, for a domestic total of $294.5 million. Within another week, it will become the only movie to cross the $300 million threshold so far in 2014. If it can pass $318 million (which is likely), it will out-gross the original ‘Iron Man‘. Overseas, ‘Guardians’ now sits with $291.6 million and still has three more major markets to break into.

Still in the #2 spot is ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ with another $6.5 million. The lack of new worthwhile competition has allowed the five-week-old reboot to accumulate $174.6 million domestically. Overseas, it’s now at $125.6 million.

If I Stay‘ stayed in the #3 spot, which is exactly where it opened three weeks ago. Its $5.7 million weekend raises its 17-day total to $39.6 million.

Four-week-old ‘Let’s Be Cops‘ jumped back into the #4 spot (it closed out last weekend in fifth place) with $5.4 million. To date, the comedy has earned $66.5 million.

Rounding out the Top 5 was last weekend’s flop ‘The November Man‘, which actually jumped up a spot from its debut weekend. The film’s $4.2 million second weekend gives it a ten-day total of $17.8 million.

The only new wide release of the weekend, ‘The Identical‘, couldn’t crack the Top 10. Independent distribution company Freestyle Releasing hoped to follow the success of its last faith-based movie, ‘God’s Not Dead’, but that’s obviously not in the cards for this one. From 1,956 screens, the PG drama only grossed $1.9 million, giving it a per-screen average of just $977.

The IMAX-exclusive 20th anniversary re-release of ‘Forrest Gump‘ didn’t have nearly the success of last weekend’s ‘Ghostbusters’ reissue nor 2012’s ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. ‘Gump’ was only able to bring in $405,000 from 337 IMAX locations, for a per-screen average of $1,202.

Much-buzzed indie musical ‘God Help the Girl‘ had a decent two-screen debut that resulted in $12,800, but there’s been no word on when, how or if the film’s release will be expanded.

Top 10:

1. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Buena Vista) – $10,160,000

2. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ (Paramount) – $6,500,000

3. ‘If I Stay’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,750,000

4. ‘Let’s Be Cops’ (Fox) – $5,400,000

5. ‘The November Man’ (Relativity) – $4,200,000

6. ‘As Above So Below’ (Universal) – $3,723,000

7. ‘When the Game Stands Tall’ (TriStar) – $3,700,000

8. ‘The Giver’ (Weinstein) – $3,591,000

9. ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ (Buena Vista) – $3,200,000

10. ‘Lucy’ (Universal) – $1,950,000


        • EM

          No. It was my jocular way of giving a good film its due accolade while acknowledging that I had been ignoring the topic in favor of gushing at length about a different topic and encouraging others to do likewise.

  1. EM

    Whatever your moviegoing experience this past weekend, I’ve probably got you beat.

    Saturday evening I attended a screening of the silent Phantom of the Opera with live accompaniment: organ, 18-piece orchestra, and two female vocalists. One of the vocalists sang excerpts from Gounod’s Faust (performed within the film), whereas the other vocalist was a screamer, launching bloodcurdling shrieks on behalf of Christine Daaé or of the Opéra patrons.

    The sold-out one-night-only showing took place at the Artcraft Theatre (www.historicartcrafttheatre.org), a renovated 1922 movie and vaudeville palace in Franklin, Indiana. The score, making its world premiere, was composed, arranged, and conducted by Franklin native son Phil Beaman, who researched the original theatrical score (now lost) and “re-imagined” it with an eye (or ear) to fidelity to the original.

    I believe this is the first time I’ve ever attended a movie where movie programs were handed out. My understanding is that the program was a first for the Artcraft as well, but typically the theater does hand out leaflets with movie facts. That’s still more than what one usually receives at a movie house!

    This was my first visit to the Artcraft, which I had not even heard of just a few days earlier. By amazing and happy coincidence, I happened to sit next to Dave Windisch, president and marketing director of Franklin Heritage, Inc., a nonprofit which runs the Artcraft, as well as restoring it and conducting many other local restoration projects. We had a friendly chat during which Dave radiated excitement about the whole venture.

    He is right to be excited, not to mention proud. Renovation is ongoing (installation of a pipe organ is planned—proceeds from Saturday’s show will help fund it), but the theater already embodies the grand spirit of the golden era of movie palaces. The Artcraft experience was already superb long before the evening’s show started!

    Most Artcraft showings are not quite as elaborate as this one. Still, it’s a great venue to see such shows as (just to mention a few from the next several months) as E.T., a six-movie Hitchcock festival, The Shining, Gone With the Wind, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Lawrence of Arabia, Sunset Boulevard, and A Night at the Opera.

    Or put another way—YEEEEE-HAWWWWWW!!!

      • EM

        A little while back Metropolis played around here with live orchestra…and I missed it. @#$% Tickets sold out rapidly. Before this Phantom showing, I had the privilege of seeing one other film with live orchestra: David Copperfield (1922), with a world-premiere score (actually, I attended the second showing, and so it was more of a world deuxieme, I suppose).

        I have also had the privilege of seeing Phantom of the Opera with live pipe organ…twice. I’ve seen a few other silents with live pipe organ, too. Fantastic experience. I’ve experienced live music of other sorts with silent films, too.

        Live accompaniment brings not only silents to life but cinema history, too…at least, when the music style is appropriate to the era—one of my experiences with Nosferatu sported an incongruous rock-jazz score. Even so, such an experience can still give audiences a taste, at least, of early cinemagoing.

        The night after Halloween, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is going to accompany Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (not usually a silent film, of course). That could be grand. I’d love to go, but I’m not sure the scheduling will work out.

    • Amazing story, EM! EMazing!

      In 2000, I saw ‘Die Nibelungen: Siegfried’, the 1924 movie (also by Fritz Lang) in an Antwerp arthouse cinema with live piano music. Quite lovely. Before the advent of talkies, this was the only way to have music on the silver screen. It must have been a grand time to be a filmgoer before ‘The Jazz Singer’. If you could afford it.

      Speaking of movie programs, I have seen old photographs (Antwerp had more than 100 cinemas in its heyday, for a city with just 600,000 inhabitants!?) and it struck me that moviegoing gents always dressed up for the occasion. Tie, suit, lovely dress for the ladies. One day, I’d like to go to the cinema in this kind of formal attire.

      • EM

        Thank you for your Juliantastic reply. (Hey, I tried.) 🙂

        For a while I’ve been rather warm to the idea of formal-attire moviegoing. At the David Copperfield score premiere/deuxieme I mentioned above, I dressed in coat and tie, as I felt befit the occasion. I considered dressing up for the show this past weekend, but I dressed down for the summertime road trip that would take me there and back instead. My attire was (fortunately? unfortunately?) consistent with the general audience’s.

        But anyway, I’d love to see a theater with something of the Artcraft’s style that presented classic movies with a “plus” experience and a dress code to match…a little like a classic Grauman’s Chinese premiere or something, at least in terms of feeling like a very special event.

    • Timcharger

      Great story, EM. That sounded (read) like real treat. Forgive me for
      commenting with jealousy.

      Only recently did I hear of such events. Not a restored movie house.
      Not a silent film. Not quite a film classic. But when I came across this:
      I was so eager to attend. But Wifey and scheduling conflicts didn’t allow
      for it.


      As for dressing up to go to the movies, that is one change for the better.
      I always felt uncomfortable and pretentious when formally dressed going
      to the opera/symphony. Why dress like a penguin? I’m not performing
      onstage. I’m sitting in the dark in the audience. It can still be a special
      event; I’ll have my shirt and shoes on. 🙂

      Then again, in the past people may have only gone to the theater once
      in a blue moon, so formal attire, it is. But the business model these days
      want audiences to go see Capt America Winter Soldier thrice in that 3 day
      opening holiday weekend. But of course, that isn’t a special event. Still,
      casual is better, I say.

      • EM

        You should get more comfortable dress clothes. Sometimes people actually enjoy dressing up for an event. I think casual can be great, and I do dress casually for most moviegoing and am fine with that. Likewise, I go to some classical concerts around here, and I vary my formality or informality of dress on a variety of considerations; but it does seem to be almost-anything-goes. Of course, some of the best dressing up for movies takes place on or about Halloween, but it’s not the same kind of dressing up we’ve been discussing. 🙂

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