Marvel’s ragtag crew of C-level comic stars beat out the studio’s A-listers on Friday as Guardians of the Galaxy took its place as the top-grossing movie of the 2014 domestic box office, surpassing the valiant efforts of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That’s enough to make anyone go “ooga-chaka.” Four weeks after its release, the space-adventure blockbuster held onto the top spot on the first day of the holiday weekend, adding $3.8 million to its coffers and bringing its domestic total up to $262.1 million, $2.4 million more than Cap 2’s high-water mark.
Guardians continues to dominate mainly because of weak end-of-summer competition. The found-footage horror flick As Above, So Below, set in the labyrinthine Parisian catacombs, took second place with a comme ci comme ça $3.2 million. Another subterranean film took third: The Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—despite seeming, like its title characters, to have been created accidentally in a sewer—brought in $2.7 million. That’s a drop of 41 percent from last week, but brings the nostalgia-flogging reboot up to a respectable $153.3 million.
In its second week, Chloe Moretz’s YA melodrama If I Stay failed to stay where it was and tumbled 62 percent to take $2.3 million. The other biggish release of the week, The November Man, ended up at the bottom of the dog pile. The Pierce Brosnan-starring thriller managed only $2.2 million on Friday, bringing it up to $3.9 million since its release on Wednesday.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy — $3.8 million ($262.1 million domestic total)
2. As Above, So Below — $3.2 million (new)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — $2.7 million ($153.3 million domestic total)
4. If I Stay — $2.3 million ($23.2 million domestic total)
5. The November Man — $2.2 million ($3.9 million since Wednesday release)
Meanwhile, the 30th-anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters stomped back into theaters, if not quite with the force of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, taking in $490,000 on 1,578 screens. Sony expects the release to end up somewhere between $1.7-$1.9 million over the holiday weekend.