(NOTE: all figures given in this article are the four-day figures reported by BoxOfficeMojo.com.)
Summer 2014 may have ended with a whimper, but Labor Day weekend 2014 managed to still leave an impression at the box office. After all, this is the first time an August box office total grossed over $1 billion.
Guardians of the Galaxy easily maintained the top spot again after taking it back last weekend, earning a very impressive $22.9 million. Marvel Studios' space opera has now grossed an amazing $281.2 million in 32 days of release, which is now tracking ahead of the first Iron Man film, and could become the highest-grossing non-sequel for the comic book movie giant. Even if Guardians doesn't reach this milestone, a total north of $300 million now is well within reach.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles held onto its second place position with $15.6 million. The Michael Bay-produced reboot has now earned a surprising $166.3 million, and should end north of $190 million by the end of its run. Distributor Paramount Pictures has already seen the franchise potential for the film, and is already prepping a sequel for 2016 – the first Turtles sequel in over 20 years.
If the box office charts seem to be giving deja vu, it's probably because the first four spots on the list haven't changed since last week at all. Teen drama If I Stay and R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops maintained their third and fourth places as well. Stay earned a very reasonable $11.8 million, while Cops eased ever so slightly to $10.4 million. With Stay earning $32.3 million and Cops earning $59.5 million, these micro-budgets films have both become minor hits of their respective studios.
Supernatural found-footage horror film As Above/So Below, the first of two wide releases this weekend, settled for fifth place with $10.3 million. This is slightly below similar title Apollo 18's $10.7 million four-day total during the same time frame in 2011, and will more than likely not stick around very long either. With relatively poor word of mouth (typical for a horror film), So Below will more than likely end up lower than $25 million at the end of its run.
Pierce Brosnan thriller The November Man fared much worse in sixth place in $10.1 million. November Man opened on Wednesday, but only managed a six-day total of $11.8 million, which is a considerably lower than 2012's Lawless ($15 million) and similar title The American ($19.8 million). Between the bad reviews and the similarly poor word-of-mouth, a final total north of $25 million would be highly unrealistic.