Box Office: 'Guardians' Poised to Beat 'If I Stay'; 'Sin City 2' Bombs, Falls to No. 6

 Warner Bros.

More bad news rocked the North American box office Friday as New Line and MGM's young female YA tearjerker If I Stay slowed and Sin City: a Dame to Kill For quickly turned into a bomb.

Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, If I Stay was widely expected to win the weekend with an $18 million-plus debut. Now, it is poised to take in roughly $16.3 million, meaning it will likely lose the No. 1 spot to Guardians of the Galaxy. If I Stay did win Friday with $6.8 million, but Guardians should overtake it on Saturday unless young girls turn out in force.

If so, Guardians will reclaim the top spot in its fourth weekend. Better yet, it will become the top-grossing film of summer with a domestic total of roughly $251 million through Sunday.

The good news for New Line and MGM is that If I Stay only cost $11 million to make (it also earned an A- CinemaScore). Friday's take includes $1.1 million from Thursday night shows.

If I Stay follows a 17-year-old girl whose family is killed in a car accident. The accident puts her in a coma, and as she wavers between life and death, she must decide if she'll fight to live for her boyfriend or join her family in death. R.J. Cutler is making his feature directorial debut on the adaptation of Gayle Forman's novel.

Earlier this summer, fellow YA adaptation The Fault in Our Stars opened to $48 million.

The weekend's other new high-profile opening, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, placed a dismal No. 6 Friday with $2.6 million for a projected $8.5 million weekend. Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, the sequel opens a full nine years after Sin City launched to more than $29 million. Sin City 2 earned a B- CinemaScore.

Dimension Films and The Weinstein Co. are releasing the R-rated sequel, which was financed and produced by Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions, Aldamisa, AR Films, Miramax and Solipsist. The movies sees returning castmembers Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis.

Sin City 2 is even losing to Sony's new faith-based high school football drama When the Game Stands Tall, which placed No. 5 Friday with $3.1 million for a solid $10 million weekend.

Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis and Alexander Ludwig star in When the Game Stands Tall, which is based on the story of Northern California high school De La Salle's 151-game winning streak, and what happened after the team finally lost. The movie was produced by Sony's faith-based label Affirm, and earned an A- CinemaScore.

Placing No. 3 and No. 4 Friday were holdovers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops, which took in an estimated $4.5 million and $4 million, respectively. Turtles is projected to gross $16 million for the weekend, so there's always a chance it could overtake If I Stay and place No. 2.

The Weinstein Co. and Walden Media's YA Film adaptation The Giver grossed $2 million on its second Friday for a projected $6.6 million weekend. The movie's total through Sunday is tipped to be an underwhelming $24 million.

Lionsgate and Millennium's The Expendables 3 is tumbling a steep 64 percent in its second weekend after a dismal $15.9 million debut. The movie, hurt by piracy and franchise fatigue, grossed an estimated $1.9 million Friday to place No. 8. It is expected to earn $5.6 million for the weekend, putting its North American total at $26.6 million.

Aug. 23, 7:30 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers.

Twitter: @PamelaDayM

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