Top movie of the year so far is …

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

updated 12:36 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014

It wasn't the greatest summer for Hollywood -- box office was down 25% from last year's record -- but it could have been worse if it weren't for <strong>"Guardians of the Galaxy,"</strong> the summer's top hit (which will likely be the year's top grosser by Labor Day). It has made $ 257 million and been beloved by critics as well, with a RottenTomatoes.com approval rating of 92%. With winter's "Lego Movie" also to his credit, star Chris Pratt, pictured, has emerged as 2014's top new star. (Box office as of 8/27.)It wasn’t the greatest summer for Hollywood — box office was down 25% from last year’s record — but it could have been worse if it weren’t for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the summer’s top hit (which will likely be the year’s top grosser by Labor Day). It has made $ 257 million and been beloved by critics as well, with a RottenTomatoes.com approval rating of 92%. With winter’s “Lego Movie” also to his credit, star Chris Pratt, pictured, has emerged as 2014’s top new star. (Box office as of 8/27.)

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Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

Summer box office winners and losers

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” is top grosser of 2014
  • It beat out “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
  • Summer ticket sales down 15% from last year

(CNN) — The Star-Lord is officially the star of the box office.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is now the top-grossing domestic movie of the year, Entertainment Weekly reports. According to data collected by Rentrak, the film has seen its domestic total rise to more than $ 274 million and is expected to rake in more than $ 16 million this holiday weekend.

Not that this has been the best summer for cinema.

Summer movies 2014: 5 things we learned

Forbes says that as of the last week of August, summer ticket sales were down by 15% in comparison with 2013. Forbes reports that “Nine films have topped $ 200 million on domestic charts so far this year, only seven of which were summer releases.

“With four months left in the year, if 2014 plays out about even with the last two years, then we should see a final domestic tally that’s down by between $ 200-300 million, or around perhaps a 2-3% decline from last year’s box office,” Mark Hughes writes for Forbes. “Notice, that number looks much less severe than the 25% figure for the summer, but then again that would also assume the next several months compare positively to the same period in 2013 and 2012.”

“Guardians,” which stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, takes the top of the box office title from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” which was released in April.

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