Labor Day weekend, 2014: that time when a movie featuring an anthropomorphized raccoon and a talking tree became the highest-grossing release of the year. In its fifth weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy continued to stay in pole position thanks to weak holiday competition, taking in an estimated total of $22.2 million over the four days ($16.5 million for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and bringing its grand domestic take up to $280.5 million. That number would have only made it the fourth highest-grossing movie at the same time in 2013 (after Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, and Man of Steel), but in a relatively slow year for blockbusters, it’s more than enough to grab the current brass ring from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And now that even Marvel’s long-shots are paying off big-time, we can look forward to movies featuring ever-increasingly recondite and niche comic-book characters and storylines. Oh, you thought that Howard the Duck teaser was just a joke?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to polish its shell with $15.7 million over the four-day weekend. That brings its total up to $166.4 million, which is somewhere in the middle of the Paramount toybox: better than G.I. Joe, worse than Transformers. Meanwhile, the YA novel adaptation If I Stay slipped only 41 percent in its second week with $9.3 million for the three-day weekend and an additional $2.3 million on Labor Day.
In third place, the boys in blue saw more green as Let’s Be Cops pocketed an additional $10.6 million. That’s a grand total of $59.7 million since the comedy’s release, which isn’t bad considering it was critically panned, its stars are “those two dudes from New Girl,” and American police forces have recently been having the public-relations goodwill usually afforded to the likes of Pol Pot.
The weekend’s two new releases were easily elbowed aside by summer’s leftovers, leaving them to fight for the scraps of fifth place. The found-footage As Above, So Below ended up rounding out the Top 5 for the four-day weekend with $10.3 million. Pierce Brosnan’s The November Man just barely missed placing, slotting into sixth with $10.2 million. The 30th-anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters scared up $2.2 million in its limited release, averaging $2,806 per theater.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy — $22.2 million ($280.5 million domestic total)
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — $15.7 million ($166.4 million domestic total)
3. If I Stay — $11.6 million ($32.2 million domestic total)
4. Let’s Be Cops — $10.6 million ($59.7 million domestic total)
5. As Above, So Below — $10.3 million (new)