Guardians Guard The Galaxy From Turtle Power - Weeks 14 & 15 | Guardians of the Galaxy | Transformers: Age of Extinction | Maleficent

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Guardians Guard The Galaxy From Turtle Power - Weeks 14 & 15

Guardians of the Galaxy
Transformers: Age of Extinction
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Into the Storm
Get on Up

As we were coming into the home stretch of the 2014 Summer Movie Pool, contenders were dropping or un-impressing left and right. Hercules was mortal, Sex Tape got chewed-up in the VCR, Planes: Fire & Rescue was burned and left for dead, and Get On Up never got off the ground. Was there going to be any, ANY, film that actually exceeded expectations and make the Top Five this year? Most of the current crew felt like the Mounds and Almond Joys found at the bottom of every Trick-or-Treat bag. No one wants those things but they eventually eat them anyway. Finally, America got Hooked on a Feeling enough to reward one of the few original films of the season.

Guardians of the Galaxy big banged to a $94.3 million opening putting it in the same class, but not First Class, as X-Men, Spidey, Transformers and Godzilla this summer. That's an amazingly substantial haul for a film featuring a talking raccoon and Vin Diesel as anything. Yes, it was based on a comic book, yet it was the 61st top-selling comic book when it first came out in 2008. That means it was somewhere behind The Archies, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Krypto The Super Dog, so not exactly the most fertile ground to invest $170 million for a live-action movie featuring a soundtrack from 70's. Suffice to say, to be in the same company of franchises that have generated billions right out the gate, pretty impressive.

In its second weekend, Guardians slipped an understandably 56% for $41.5 million weekend, though the 10-day total is already at an ominous $175.9 million. Meaning, there's no way this film isn't cracking $200 million by Labor Day and having a dance-off with one of the old fogeys that's been hanging around since May. Ooh, Child, things are not going to get easier for the poolers who didn't have faith in this film. As one of those faithless poolers who just assumed all the other more known films were going to do better, I just want to like PiƱa Coladas, get caught in the rain, and plan my escape.

Meanwhile, pepperoni and cheese were all people needed to be ready for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revival. The Michael Bay-produced reboot was on the good foot with a $65 million opening weekend. Cowabunga, indeed! While critics weren't kind, families with boys probably felt this was a better option than watching The Lego Movie for the 277th time and having their kids run around the house in their skivvies afterwards going "Honey, where are my pants?!" If the lasting result of this series is having kids know the names of four of the greatest artists from the Renaissance era solely as genetically altered, kung-fu reptiles in a half-shell, well, so be it.

As for the films that didn't involve CGI main characters, life wasn't so kind to them the last two weeks.

Get On Up may earn an Oscar nod for Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of James Brown, however, it's going to earn about $60 million less than his turn as Jackie Robinson in 42. When faced to Give It Up Or Turn It Loose, folks kind of chose both. It's not The Big Payback they were looking for.

Into the Storm was to Twister what Jessica Simpson's country career was to Taylor Swift. In the fall or spring season, making an $18 million opening weekend with a no-name cast that no-names would be embarrassed to admit they even knew is totally fine. In the summer, that's a loss. Besides, it couldn't have increased their budget by much to have gotten Helen Hunt to don her white tank-top one more time, call this Twister 2, and double this opening easy. It's like making Kindergarten Cop 2 without Arnie and calling it Pre-First Grade Law Enforcement Official. Try saying "Two tickets for Pre-First Grade Law Enforcement Official, please" five times fast... It's fun!

The Hundred-Foot Journey is going to have to walk a lot further if it wants to be remembered in the same vein as other adult August hits like The Help and The Butler. Where's Oprah's Book Club when you really need them?

Clearly, the biggest disappointment of the summer has to be for Step Up: All In, in which, apparently, their fans didn't understand what being "all in" meant. That means go and see this film if you even want to see another of these films again! A $6.6 million debut that's barely half of what the last Step Up movie started with two years ago makes it look like it's the moment for this series to Step Off. Sniff, and I really thought those crazy kids were going to make it work this time. Sniff.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Transformers: Age of Extinction - $242.9 million
#2. Maleficent - $236.1 million
#3. X-Men: Days of Future Past - $232.1 million
#4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - $202.6 million
#5. Godzilla - $200.3 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 08/11/2014

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Get on Up, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, Into the Storm, Maleficent, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men: Days of Future Past
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