August 25, 2014 7:59 am

‘Guardians’ holds on to top spot at box office

A scene from 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'

Handout

NEW YORK – Guardians of the Galaxy became the summer’s top-grossing movie at the North American box office with a $17.6 million weekend that narrowly bested the young adult melodrama If I Stay, while the long-delayed Sin City sequel, A Dame to Kill For flopped.

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With an estimated $17.6 million in its fourth weekend of release, the space adventure passed Transformers: Age of Extinction to become the summer’s biggest domestic hit with a cumulative total of $252 million. The film was an unlikely August sensation (late summer is usually an afterthought in Hollywood’s lucrative summer season) that helped the box office rebound somewhat after big-budget sequels like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and How To Train Your Dragon 2 failed to ignite the multiplexes.

The made-in-Vancouver tearjerker If I Stay failed to top the box office with a weekend haul of $16.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. In the film, Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a teen in a coma after a car accident. It came in third place behind the reptile reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which made $16.8 million in its third weekend.

Tracking had expected Sin City: A Dame to Kill For to open in the mid-teens. It made just $6.5 million.

The first Sin City film, which opened with $29.1 million in 2005 and made $159 million globally. But nine years is a long time to wait for a sequel, and clearly the novelty of the film’s digital adaptation of Frank Miller’s black-and-white graphic novel wore off with both moviegoers and critics.

The faith-based high school football film When the Game Stands Tall opened with $9.1 million.

© The Associated Press, 2014

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