I remember when the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was released online, among the usual cries of unrestrained glee from Marvel fans there were also a not insignificant minority who predicted the James Gunn franchise launcher would be a 'flop'.
Well, I doubt the individuals who made that initial financial assessment will be lifting their head above the commenting parapet again because Marvel's quirky space adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy, has smashed box office records in its opening weekend.
Guardians opened to a record-breaking $94 million in North America, making it the most lucrative August opening of all time, thrashing the previous record holder, The Bourne Ultimatum, to the tune of $24.7 million. This success also places it second only to Transformers: Age of Extinction in this year's summer-movie-blockbuster-box-office-battle.
The international community also seems to have reacted strongly to Guardians of the Galaxy, bringing in an additional $66.4 million from 42 territories. Add this to its domestic pot and we get an extremely healthy global opening of $160.4 million, which is even more impressive when you consider it has still to open in 50 percent of the foreign marketplace.
Currently, Guardians of the Galaxy is ranked third in this year's domestic box office opening weekend, trailing behind Transformers 4's $100 million and Captain America: The Winter Soldier's $95 million. It did however, beat the likes of Godzilla ($93.2 million), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million) and X-Men: Days of Future Past ($90.8 million).
This first weekend haul certainly goes a long way to breaking even on Guardians of the Galaxy's budget of $170 million, although I imagine it still has quite a bit to make in order to cover its extensive marketing campaign.
However, fans of Marvel shouldn't be too upset that Guardians of Galaxy lost the financial top spot to Transformers: Age of Extinction, since it has also dominated in another sense. Sure, Transformers may have just broken $1 billion worldwide, but this probably has more to do with its massive global marketing campaign as opposed to strong word of mouth and critical reviews. Guardians of the Galaxy, on the other hand, might be one of this year's few lucrative summer blockbusters which is actually any good. It currently holds a 76 on Metacritic placing it way ahead of Transformers 4 (32), Godzilla (62), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (53) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (74). With this in mind, it's not hard to see how Guardians has generated the biggest box office result for an original property (i.e. not a sequel or reboot).
Originally, Guardians of the Galaxy was only predicted to make $65 to $70 million domestically, however estimates have now increased for the duration of its domestic run. Now it is expected to make around $250 million in the US alone.
Did you see Guardians of the Galaxy in the opening weekend?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter