Even with superheroes taking up the top spots, Warner Bros. saw a solid opening for Into the Storm, which brought in $18 million and took third place. Although reviews were bad and star power was low, intense trailers made this a film that thrill-seekers had to check out. It also skewed older (71% over the age of 25) and more female (57%) than many of the action blockbusters in the top ten, so there was an audience for tornado-chasing thrills. Among found footage comparisons, Into the Storm took in slightly less than the last Paranormal Activity film ($18.3 million) and was not too far from Chronicle ($22 million), either.
Starved adult audiences (and those starved and looking for a foodie film not directed by Jon Favreau) found some solace in The Hundred-Foot Journey, which took fourth place and $11.1 million. Despite having Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg as producers, the film opened at less than half of The Butler‘s opening ($24.6 million) and could not even match Get On Up‘s take from last weekend. Still, the Helen Mirren-led drama did only open in around 2,000 theaters, meaning it took in more per location than Into the Storm. An A CinemaScore and little competition for adults bodes well for the film; however, I said the same thing about Get On Up last week, and it plummeted 63% to take eighth place over the weekend. (Nothing is guaranteed at the box office.)
The Scarlett Johansson/Luc Besson thriller Lucy continued to bring in big business, raking in $9.3 million to take fifth place during its third frame. Even with mediocre word-of-mouth, the film had a smaller drop than many of the titles in the top 20 (that lost 60% of its audience or more from last weekend). After 17 days, the high-octane film has a $97.4 cume, meaning Lucy should end its run with around $120 million.
As for this weekend’s other big opener, Step Up All In continued the franchise’s decline and brought in only $6.6 million in sixth place. Each Step Up installment opens to and finishes with less than its predecessor, and All In should be no different. It brought in only 56% of Step Up Revolution‘s opening ($11.7 million) from 2012. The good news is that these films usually have strong legs – appropriate for a dance-oriented flick – and finish their runs in with around three times their opening weekend. Plus, the Step Up series is very profitable internationally. Revolution took in three quarters of its global take overseas, while Step Up All In has already grossed nearly $40 million elsewhere in the world.
On the indie film front, the romantic comedy What If? starring Daniel Radcliffe opened to a mild $130,000 from 20 theatres. Since this is a movie that appeals more to the date crowd than the art-house crowd, it could still earn a decent take when it gets a wider release over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the acclaimed drama Calvary only took in $235,000 from 41 theaters. Starring Brendan Gleeson in an award-worthy turn, Calvary should hope for good word-of-mouth.
Here are the box office estimates for the Top 10 films at the North American box office, the weekend of August 8 through 10, 2014:
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $65 million (NEW)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy – $41.5 million ($175.9 million total)
3. Into the Storm – $18 million (NEW)
4. The Hundred-Foot Journey – $11.1 million (NEW)
5. Lucy – $9.3 million ($97.4 million total)
6. Step Up All In – $6.6 million (NEW)
7. Hercules – $5.7 million ($63.5 million total)
8. Get On Up – $5 million ($22.9 million total)
9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $4.4 million ($197.8 million total)
10. Planes: Fire and Rescue – $2.4 million ($53 million total)
NOTE: These numbers are weekend estimates based on Friday and Saturday’s estimated takes. Actual numbers for the three-day weekend are reported on Monday afternoon.