Box Office: Faith-Based 'The Identical' Bombs With $1.9M; 'Guardians' Stays No. 1

'The Identical'

The weekend after Labor Day is historically the slowest frame of the year but this weekend was worse than usual

Faith-based Elvis musical drama The Identical bombed at the North American box office, falling outside the top 10 with $1.91 million. The independent movie cost more than $32 million to make and market.

Identical is playing in 1,956 theaters. If the theater count was rounded up, its debut would mark the third-worst opening of all time for a film playing in 2,000 or more locations, not accounting for inflation.

The weekend after Labor Day is historically the slowest frame of the year for moviegoing, but this year was worse than usual, with revenue tumbling more than 20 percent over last year and continuing the downward trend at the troubled domestic box office. Ticket sales topped out at roughly $63 million, the lowest of any weekend this year.

Marvel and Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy stayed at No. 1 in its sixth weekend, grossing $10.6 million for a domestic total of $294.6 million. Globally, the tentpole has earned $586.2 million, surpassing the first Iron Man ($585 million). 

Guardians is the top-grossing film of 2014 so far in North America, eclipsing the $259.8 million earned by fellow Marvel and Disney tentpole Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The Identical, playing in just under 2,000 theaters and coming in No. 11, failed to enjoy the same success that a spate of faith-based films have enjoyed this year at the box office, including Heaven Is for Real, God's Not Dead and Son of God. Indeed, it could suffer one of the worst openings of all time for a wide release and lost to another faith-friendly film now in its third weekend, When the Game Stands Tall, which came in No. 8 with $3.7 million for a domestic total of $23.5 million.

The musical centers on twin brothers (both played by Blake Rayne, a former Elvis impersonator) who were separated at birth. One, Drexel Hemsley, grows up to become an Elvis-like star, and the other, Ryan Wade, is raised by a strict minister father (Ray Liotta) and mother (Ashley Judd). But Wade goes against the wishes of his conservative parents and seeks out his own musical career.

Dustin Marcellino makes his feature film directorial debut with the PG film, which Freestyle Releasing is distributing for City of Peace Films. The marketing budget for The Identical was just north of the film's $16 million production budget, and the funds were split 50-50 between faith-based efforts and national TV, radio and digital campaigns.

Holding at No. 2 in its fifth weekend was Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which took in $6.5 million for a North American cume of $174.6 million. Fox's R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops, YA film adaptation If I Stay and The November Man will round out the top five.

Scarlett Johansson's action film Lucy placed No. 10 in North America with $1.94 million as it crossed the $300 million mark worldwide in a major victory for Luc Besson's EuropaCorp. Lucy has grossed $143.7 million domestically and $192.2 million overseas.

Making headlines at the specialty box office was Richard Linklater's Boyhood, which crossed the $20.7 million mark in North America.

And Radius-TWC reported that VOD sales for Snowpiercer have hit a hearty $6.5 million. Combined with theatrical revenue of $4.5 million, the film has now earned $11 million.

Sept. 7, 8 a.m. Updated with estimated weekend numbers.

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