UPDATE SEPT 1: Marvel Studios’ summer hit stayed at number one thanks to an estimated $22.2m haul over the four-day holiday weekend as the season ended on a whimper and fell approximately 15% against summer 2013 to mark the weakest summer since 2006.

2014 delivered few must-see tentpoles compared to last years, which generated $4.8bn. The weak performance of several releases allied to stiff competition from alternative platforms and the allure of the World Cup is tempered by the knowledge that the business is prey to the cyclical nature of production.

Next summer is already shaping up to be a cracker with the likes of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII, Terminator: Genisys, Ted 2, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, Magic Mike 2, Ant Man and The Fantastic Four, among others.

Guardians Of The Galaxy vaulted to number one in the 2014 rankings, its top-of-the-table status secured by a $280.5m running total over five weekends.

The top 12 dropped 16.1% against last weekend and fell approximately 8% against the comparable session in 2013.

Legendary Entertainment’s horror tale As Above/So Below arrived in fifth place on $10.3m while Pierce Brosnan spy thriller The November Man opened at number six on $10.2m through Relativity Media.

Pantelion’s Spanish-language Cantinflas opened at number 12 on $3.2m from 382 sites. The 30th anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters opened through Sony on $2.2m from 784 venues. Open Road has re-released Jon Favreau drama Chef and the film added $972,000 for $30.6m.

David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up with Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn opened through Tribeca Film on $11,000 from two sites, while Roadside Attractions opened Toronto 2013 premiere Life Of Crime starring Jennifer Anniston on $122,000 from 33 and SPC opened The Notebook on $4,000 from two theatres.

Next weekend’s wide release is drama The Identical starring Erin Cottrell, Brian Geraghty, Seth Green, Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta through Freestyle Releasing.

Estimated Top 10 North America Aug 29-31 (Aug 29-Sept 1) 2014
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (1) Guardians Of The Galaxy (Buena Vista/Marvel) WDSMPI $16.3m $274.6m ($22.2m, $280.5m)

2 (2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Paramount) PPI $11.8m $162.4m ($15.7m, $166.4m)

3 (3) If I Stay (Warner Bros-MGM) WBPI $9.3m $29.8m ($11.6m, $32.2m)

4 (-) As Above/So Below (Universal-Legendary) UPI $8.3m – (Placed fifth, $10.3m – )

5 (4) Let’s Be Cops (Fox) Fox International $8.2m $57.3m (Placed fourth, $10.6m, $59.7m)

6 (-) The November Man (Relativity Media) The Solution Entertainment Group $7.7m $9.4m ($10.2m, $11.9m)

7  (5) When The Game Stands Tall (TriStar) SPWA $5.7m $16.3m ($8m, $18.7m)

8 (7) The Giver (TWC) TWC International $5.3m $31.5m ($6.9m, $33.1m)

9 (9) The Hundred-Foot Journey (Buena Vista-Participant Media) WDSMPI $4.6m $39.4m ($6.3m, $41.1m)

10 (6) The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate) Nu Image $3.5m $33.1m ($4.6m, $34.2m)