ByTom Bacon, writer at
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Tom Bacon

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may not release in the U.S. until May 5th, but it's already out in 37 international markets. In news that's sure to delight Marvel Studios and director , the first weekend's performance is in line with stratospheric predictions, suggesting the movie could well be one of Marvel's strongest performing yet...

An Amazing Success!

Projections had been that would bring in around the $100 million mark in this first weekend, and it looks like those were on the money — the film scored a phenomenal $101.2 million opening weekend. It was the top movie everywhere it debuted (except for Portugal, Turkey and Vietnam), and it beat the opening for the first film in every country except Belgium, which had previews back in 2014.

It helps that, as always, has timed their release for the sweet spot of late May / early April Bank Holidays in a lot of European countries and Australia — that's the reason Marvel tend to stagger the releases like this. With today being a Bank Holiday in many European countries, we can expect another strong day for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in the international market.

Now let's put this success in perspective. The launch is 57 percent ahead of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and 50 percent greater than 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier (factoring in exchange rates). Given those are two of Marvel's most dearly-loved movies, this is pretty remarkable!

Is 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' On Track To Break The $1 Billion Mark?

Born to be bad! [Credit: Marvel Studios]
Born to be bad! [Credit: Marvel Studios]

Conventional wisdom is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 should expect to break $1 billion at the box office, but it's worth taking a step back from that assumption. Even adjusting for inflation, there are actually only 10 superhero movies that have ever grossed over $1 billion.

Over on Forbes, Scott Mendelson — much-respected across the industry — is doubtful that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will join that exclusive club. He views this as one of the MCU's more "frontloaded" titles, which typically gross about 24 to 29 percent of their overseas takings in the first weekend. Sadly, that strong first weekend performance — with so many holidays across Europe, and families choosing to head to the cinema — means the May releases tend not to have the legs you'd see later in the year. Combining these with domestic predictions, Mendelson reckons the film will gross between $800 and $900 million worldwide.

Personally, I think Mendelson's analysis is absolutely spot-on — I'll be very surprised if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 breaks $1 billion. But let's be clear: that doesn't mean the film isn't a success. This would be the first movie without Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark to break $800 million. What's more, outside of the box office marketing and merchandizing for the film has been pretty phenomenal, bolstered by the unusually strong involvement of James Gunn himself. Whether Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 breaks $1 billion or not, we can already be confident it will be a massive success.

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All in all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 looks set to be a box office superstar for Marvel Studios! If Mendelson's predictions are correct, this would make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Marvel Studios's fifth most successful movie of all time — behind The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War. Considering it stars a bunch of A-holes who were essentially unknowns back in 2014, that's a tremendous achievement!


Do you expect 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' to break $1 billion?

(Sources: Box Office Mojo, Deadline, Forbes; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Studios)


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