A few weeks ago, this column was skeptical that Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could reach $300 million. Now, it seems impossible that it won't. Thanks to ecstatic word of mouth, killer marketing and only one genuinely successful box office challenger (that would be 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Marvel's oddball space opera has managed to spend three of the past four weekends at the number one spot at the box office, giving it enough momentum to officially become the highest grossing film of 2014.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Guardians of the Galaxy$16,313,000 (-5.2)$4,712$274,610,000
2Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles$11,750,000 (-29.7)$3,316$162,406,000
3If I Stay$9,260,000 (-40.9)$3,084$29,822,000
4As Above So Below$8,342,000$3,160$8,342,000
5Let's Be Cops$8,200,000 (-24.1)
6The November Man$7,660,000$2,759$9,351,000
7When the Game Stands Tall$5,650,000 (-32.6)$2,114$16,320,000
8The Giver$5,253,000 (-18.4)$1,873$31,526,000
9The Hundred-Foot Journey$4,603,000 (-13.8)$2,400$39,398,000
10The Expendables 3$3,500,000 (-46.0)$1,365$33,139,000


With a stunning drop of only 5%, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' made holding onto the number one spot look easy. Grossing $16 million for a $274 million total, Marvel's Chris Pratt film officially surpassed this year's other Marvel movie ('Captain America: The Winter Soldier') and other Chris Pratt movie ('The LEGO Movie') to become the biggest film of the year so far. With a relatively dead September ahead, it the film should have more than enough momentum to hit the coveted $300 million mark. Yes, Marvel Studios now feels pretty much invincible.

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' held onto second place, dropping a reasonable 29% and grossing $11 million for a $164 million total. Like with 'Guardians,' this one took advantage of the slow month full of weak competition to do better business than anyone expected. We certainly didn't see it careening toward $200 million with such speed, but here we are. It should get there sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, the Chloe Moretz weepy 'If I Stay' held onto the third spot, grossing $9 million for a $29 million total. This is respectable business for a film with a reported budget of only $11 million. It's not going to blow anyone's socks off, but no one is going to complain about these numbers either.

And that brings us to our first newcomers of the weekend, the found footage horror film 'As Above So Below.' With a dismal opening of only $8 million, it's hard to imagine this one even having a chance to recover, especially since horror movies traditionally plummet in their second weeks.

In fifth place, 'Let's Be Cops' continued to do steady if not overwhelming business. With a current gross of $57 million, the film is definitely a success, but it's a minor one. It's no 'Neighbors.' Heck, it's not even 'Tammy,' really.

The week's other newcomer, 'The November Man,' opened in seventh place with a dismal  $7 million, effectively halting Pierce Brosnan's attempt to Liam Neeson-ize his career. So much for that sequel that was greenlit a few weeks back...

The rest of the top 10 was is generally pretty dismal, with 'The Expendables 3' and 'The Giver' doing weak business. However, 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' held onto the number nine slot with an iron grip, bringing its gross to a solid $39 million. Yes, older people like movies, too.

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