'Guardians of the Galaxy', the hit film about a group of misfit superheroes from Walt Disney's Marvel studio, stayed on top US and Canadian cinemas as Hollywood wrapped up what is poised to be the worst summer for box office sales since 2006.
'Guardians' collected $16.3m in the first three days of the US Labor Day weekend, outdrawing two new releases, researcher Rentrak said.
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' remained in second place, generating $11.8m.
"Summer 2014 was in the unenviable position of following what was the biggest revenue-generating summer of all time in 2013," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at Rentrak. "This made comparisons very tough."
'"Guardians', released on August 1, is the biggest summer film in the US and put a positive cap on a mostly poor stretch for the industry. Sales have declined about 15pc as of August 26 from a year earlier, according to Rentrak, which estimates the summer total through today will be $4.05bn, the least since $3.75bn in 2006.
Two new films opened in wide release. 'As Above/So Below', from Comcast's Universal Pictures, opened with sales of $8.3m to rank fourth. The audience for the R- rated horror movie, in which explorers discover secrets in Paris's catacombs, according to IMDB.com, was about 52pc female and about 57pc was younger than 25 years old, according to a Rentrak/Screen Engine's PostTrak survey.
'The November Man', from Relativity Media, produced $7.7m to place sixth. The spy thriller, which stars Irish actor Pierce Brosnan, attracted an audience that 83pc of which was more than 25 years of age, a survey showed.
Brosnan stars as an ex-CIA agent brought back into action and pitted against a former pupil in a battle involving the Russian president-elect.