'Guardians of the Galaxy' was one of the rare success stories for a poor summer box-office in 2014.
Despite the heavyweight pulling power of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, the relative might of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and straight-up blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction, the major studios are now preparing their fall releases after the worst summer box-office since 2006.
Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Ok, so the World Cup in Brazil probably didn't help matters and 2015 is predicted to be a marked improvement, but there's no denying the downward trend in ticket sales.
Guardians of the Galaxy recently passed the $270 million mark to overtake Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Lego Movie as the biggest grossing movie domestically in 2014. The movie, starring Chris Pratt, probably outweighed expectation though Disney have already green-lit at sequel for 2017 which should open even bigger.
As mentioned, some of the factors affecting the low box-office have been out of the control of studios and marketers, though compared to last year's summer offerings - Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, World War Z, Despicable Me 3, The Wolverine, The Great Gatsby, This Is The End - it's been a poor couple of months for quality.
Chris Evans in 'Captain America: Winter Soldier'
"You can't chalk it up to anything other than a weak slate of movies that didn't resonate with consumers," said Eric Wold, an analyst with B. Riley & Co. "We were expecting poor numbers to start with, and it got a lot worse."
"The movie industry is still strong, but it's always going to be about the product," said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures president of worldwide distribution. "You get (slumping) weeks, and people say, 'Oh the industry's in trouble,' and then you have huge openings, and they say, 'It's stronger than ever.'?"
In terms of the remainder of the year, it will be down to the Oscar tipped movies - Gone Girl and Interstellar - and the big-budget franchises - Mockingbird Part 1 and The Hobbit - to make 2013 look at least respectable.