Guardians Can't Stop Box Office Summer Slump
The US box office is on course for one of its worst summer blockbuster seasons in nearly a decade.
Guardians Of The Galaxy has become the biggest film of the year so far after adding $16.3m (£9.8m) over the weekend to take its earnings to $274m (£165m) since its release.
But studios are expecting the period from early May to the end of August to be the worst since 2006.
According to the box office statistics website boxofficemojo.com, earnings have slumped this year to $3.77bn (£2.2bn), down 22.2% from the 2013 figure of $4.85bn (£2.7bn).
Analysts have blamed the slump on the failure of a sequel-heavy range of films that have largely failed to capture the audience's imagination.
The World Cup has also been blamed for poor cinema attendance.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the second biggest film of 2014, with the Lego Movie in third place.
Although Guardians Of The Galaxy proved to be a hit, it may not break the $300m (£180m) barrier - the first time a summer film has failed to reach that mark since 2001.
Last summer benefited from big hits such as Iron Man 3, which took $409m (£246m) at the box office, and the Star Trek sequel which made $228m (£137m).
As the summer winds down, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was in second place over the Labor Day holiday, adding another $11.75m (£7m) to its takings.
Third place was occupied by teen drama If I Stay, based on a young adult novel about a girl, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, who surveys her life from an out-of-body experience after a car accident, which took $9.3m (£5.6m).
(c) Sky News 2014