Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ says ‘I am no. 1’ with $94 million

“Guardians of the Galaxy” was expected to challenge the record for the biggest opening ever in August. No one thought it would completely blow it away.  

Earning a superb A Cinemascore from moviegoers and arguably some of the best reviews ever for a Marvel Studios film, “Galaxy” took in $94 million over its first three days. That completely obliterates the previous August champ, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which found $69.2 million in 2007. Marvel has already green lit a sequel for 2017 and you can expect star Chris Pratt to continue his ascension into one of Hollywood's biggest new movie stars.  The 35-year-old will appear in “Jurassic World” next summer and, in a very convenient coincidence, say goodbye to “Park and Recreation” as the NBC comedy series ends with season seven. What the “Moneyball” and “Zero Dark Thirty” actor will decide to do with that newfound freedom will be one of the more intriguing entertainment stories over the next few years.

As for “Guardians,” the film has very little legitimate competition on the horizon.  The James Gunn directed adventure should easily surpass the $258.9 million “Captain America: The Winter Solider” took in this year and assuming world of mouth holds should find itself ending up with something in the $300 million range domestic.  And as for critics harping on superhero fatigue, there won't be another legitimate film in the genre hitting theaters until “Avengers: Age of Ulton” on May 1, 2015.

Holding on to the no. 2 spot is Luc Besson's “Lucy.”  The Universal Studios and Europa thriller found another $18.2 million for $79.5 million to date. The picture fell 58.4% from its opening weekend, but is still on track to hit over $100 million domestic.

Another Universal Studios release, “Get on Up,” danced its way to just $14 million in third.  Tate Taylor's follow up to “The Help” found Chadwick Boseman brining the true story of James Brown to the big screen. Unfortunately, despite positive reviews (77% on Rotten Tomatoes, 71 grade on Metacritic), “Up” was overwhelmed by “Guardians” four quadrant smash.  Universal hoped the film would act as strong counter programming. Instead it opened on the lower end of expectations.  The studio and producers Mick Jagger (yes, that Mick Jagger) and Brian Grazer will have to hope that an A Cinemascore will lead to strong word of mouth.

Dropping to no. 4 was Paramount Pictures' “Hercules.”  The Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took in another $10.7 million for $52.3 million in its first 10 days. The studio will have to hope International returns help this $100 million action flick recoup its budget.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” found another $8.7 million for $189.3 million to date.  The critically acclaimed Matt Reeves drama will hit $200 million sometime over the next 10 days.

Among other releases, “A Most Wanted” man expanded into 729 theaters (technically nationwide) and pulled in another $3.3 million for a superb $7 million to date.  The critically acclaimed thriller features the last leading role from Philip Seymour Hoffman and should easily hit the $15 million mark.  That would make it one of Roadside Attractions biggest hits ever.

Next Friday includes four major releases including “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” “Into the Storm,” “Set Up All In” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Box office actuals are released on Monday.