Well, it just goes to show you that, when you think you know everything, reality slaps you hard in the face.
I was certain, and I’m not the only one, that Marvel’s "Guardians of the Galaxy" was not going to be the late summer break out box office smash that they hoped it was going to be. With the exception of hardcore fanboys, who had heard of this comic book (with a talking raccoon) before? Those filthy, disgusting things that I see crawling around in the alley and sneak into my backyard every night? It doesn’t have the sort of iconic status of a Superman, Batman or Spider Man.
At best, I thought it would hit $50 million, which would be fantastic for any other movie, but, for a super expensive summer tent-pole movie, $50 million would be disastrous. Well, boy was I wrong.
"Guardians" hit an amazing $37.8 million on Friday alone, and this weekend, made some $94 million, the biggest b.o. opening for any film in August ever. I guess this "Guardians" thing is much more popular than I realized. Who knew? I stopped reading that comic stuff when I was 12. As someone who saw the weekend numbers said to me yesterday, “The power has now shifted back to the comic book nerds!” Damn! Can’t they get laid or something?
On the other hand, I was completely wrong about the James Brown bio-pic "Get On Up." I thought that it would give "Guardians" a real run for its money. All I’ve been hearing from people was how they couldn’t wait to see the film. I figured it would bring in a huge black audience, and especially an older mixed audience, that had been waiting for something that appealed to them, this summer. I talked to someone earlier today who saw the film on Saturday night and loved it, and said the theater was completely packed.
I had predicted that "Get On Up" could pull in somewhere in the mid-$30 million range, but, in fact, it did less than half that, grossing only $14 million. What happened? Where did everybody go?
Yes, it is a “baby boomer” film, which means that they, unlike those still-virgins comic book nerds, don’t rush out to see a film immediately after it opens in theaters. They tend to take their time, and instead wait to hear what others say about it.
The possible good news is that, positive word of mouth could keep the film going for weeks, and it could end up being a late summer/early fall b.o. sleeper.
Time will tell.
What do you think happened?
Last week’s No.1, "Lucy," hung on for second place, beating "Get On Up," making $18.3 million this weekend, heading for $100 million.
And Richard Linklater’s "Boyhood" has become a art house hit, cracking the top 12 at No. 11.
1) Guardians of the Galaxy BV $94,000,000
2) Lucy Uni. $18,283,000 Total: $79,571,000
3) Get On Up Uni. $14,031,000
4) Hercules Par. $10,700,000 Total: $52,348,000
5) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $8,700,000 Total: $189,330,000
6) Planes: Fire & Rescue BV $6,424,000 Total: $47,596,000
7) The Purge: Anarchy Uni. $5,551,000 Total: $62,962,000
8) Sex Tape Sony $3,550,000 Total: $33,908,000
9) And So It Goes CE $3,344,000 Total: $10,473,000
10) A Most Wanted Man RAtt. $3,324,000 Total: $7,059,000
11) Boyhood IFC $2,522,000 Total: $7,566,000
12) Transformers: Age of Extinction Par. otal: $241,166,000