"Guardians of the Galaxy," the sci-fi flick that Glenn Beck said was the "funniest movie I have seen in a long time,” returned to the top spot at the box office over Labor Day weekend.
The success of "Guardians" comes at the end of a brutally disappointing summer for Hollywood.
FILE - This undated image released by Disney - Marvel shows, from left, Zoe Saldana, the character Rocket Racoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, the character Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista in a scene from "Guardians Of The Galaxy".(AP Photo/Disney - Marvel, File)
Marvel's cosmic romp topped the Labor Day box office with a three-day take of $22 million — its third time in first place since its release five weeks ago, according to studio estimates Monday. With North American ticket sales of more than $280 million so far, "Guardians" is also the summer's — and the year's — top-grossing film to date.
Still, summer box-office totals are down almost 15 percent from last year, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.
"This is the lowest summer since 2006 in terms of revenue," he said. "Before 'Guardians,' we were sitting on a 20 percent deficit compared to last year."
"Transformers: Age of Extinction," which opened in late June, also boosted the summer box office with $1 billion in global ticket sales. "Maleficent" was also a hit, bringing in more than $230 million domestically.
"This was never expected to be a record-breaking summer," Dergarabedian said, "but it maybe came in under expectations."
The World Cup may have distracted moviegoers, he said. Also, the death of Paul Walker caused the seventh installment of "Fast & Furious" — which could have added $200 million to the summer box office — to be postponed until next year.
"Guardians," "Transformers" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" provided Hollywood with a few bright spots this summer, but other big movies including the third "Expendables" movie and "Sin City 2" flopped fairly hard.
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"We went out with a whimper," Dergarabedian said. "We wound up a very exasperating summer on a very quiet note."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released on Tuesday.
1. "Guardians of the Galaxy," $22.2 million.
2. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," $15.7 million.
3. "If I Stay," $11.6 million.
4. "Let's Be Cops," $10.5 million.
5. "As Above, So Below," $10.3 million.
6. "The November Man," $10.2 million.
7. "When the Game Stands Tall," $8 million.
8. "The Giver," $6.9 million.
9. "The Hundred-Foot Journey," $6.3 million.
10. "The Expendables 3," $4.5 million.
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