Sony’s ‘No Good Deed’ Topples ‘Guardians’ to Lead Box Office

“No Good Deed,” a thriller from Sony Corp. starring Idris Elba, opened in first place in theaters over the weekend, toppling Walt Disney Co.’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

“No Good Deed” collected $24.5 million in U.S. and Canadian cinemas, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday from Rentrak Corp. “Dolphin Tale 2” garnered $16.6 million, to place second for Warner Bros. in its debut. “Guardians” fell to third place.

Sony’s film is its fourth movie to open in the No. 1 slot this year and is the first new release to debut atop theaters in more than a month as “Guardians” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” led the closing weeks of disappointing summer for Hollywood. Sony withheld “No Good Deed” from critic previews to avoid the leaking of a plot twist, a strategy that may have aided sales.

“We’re building some momentum right now,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, said by telephone. “This is where we get back on track after the traditionally very, very slow post-Labor Day weekend.”

Elba, the British actor known for the TV series “The Wire,” plays a dangerous escaped convict who terrorizes a mother, played by Taraji Henson, and her two young children after she offers to help him.

The film had a production budget of $13.2 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and was projected to collect $19 million, according to researcher BoxOffice.com.

“No Good Deed” benefited from compelling actors and effective marketing via social media that included Instagram and Twitter campaigns, Dergarabedian said.

Plot Twist

Rottentomatoes.com, a review aggregator, gave the film a 12 percent positive rating after critics reviewed the movie Sept. 12, the first day it opened. The website gave it a positive rating from audiences of 71 percent.

“There is something that could technically be considered a shocking plot twist,” wrote Peter Sobczynski on Rogerebert.com, a movie review site “The twist is so absurd, so arbitrary, and has so little effect on the proceedings that it feels like the kind of thing that Tyler Perry might have scratched for being too ridiculous.”

“Dolphin Tale 2” is a sequel to 2011’s “Dolphin Tale,” about the friendship between a boy and a dolphin named Winter, whose tail was lost in a crab trap.

New Companion

The team who saved the dolphin’s life reunite in the new movie to find a companion for Winter after the death of her surrogate mother and only poolmate. Unless they find another dolphin, their beloved Winter will be moved to another aquarium.

Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and jazz musician-turned-actor Harry Connick Jr. reunite in the sequel, which had an estimated budget of $36 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

“The Drop,” a crime drama from 21st Century Fox Inc., opened in about 800 cinemas over the weekend. It stars Tom Hardy as a Brooklyn bartender who finds himself at the center of a robbery gone wrong and pulled into the local underworld. The movie, which also features the late James Gandolfini, received a 85 percent positive rating on Rottentomatoes. The movie took the sixth spot, with $4.2 million.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” the hit Marvel film about a group of misfit superheroes, collected $8 million. Released on Aug. 1, the movie led the box office for four weekends and was the biggest domestic hit of the summer for Hollywood.

Weekend sales for the top 10 films fell 14 percent to $74.3 million from a year earlier. Sales for the year to date have declined 5.7 percent to $7.43 billion.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales for Sept. 12-13, and estimates for yesterday.

Movie                     (mln) Chg. Theaters Theater (mln) Wks
===============================================================
No Good Deed          $24.5   -     2,175  $11,264 $24.5   1 2
Dolphin Tale 2         16.5   -     3,656    4,527  16.6   1 3
Guardians of the Galaxy   8  -22    3,104    2,591 305.9   7 4
Teenage Mutant Ninja    4.8  -26    2,957    1,623 181     6 5
Let’s Be Cops           4.3  -23    2,755    1,561  73     5 6
Drop, The               4.2   -       809    5,192   4.2   1 7
If I Stay               4.1  -27    3,040    1,332  44.9   4 8
November Man, The       2.8  -36    2,702    1,018  22.5   3 9
Giver, The              2.6  -23    2,253    1,166  41.3   5 10
Hundred-Foot Journey    2.5  -22    1,943    1,267  49.4   6

*Weekly percentage change based on Friday to Sunday totals.

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $74.3 $86.5 -14

Year-to-date Revenue

2014 2013 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $7,433 $7,885 -5.7
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