Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures Guardians of the Galaxy directed by James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Karen Gillen and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, has set a new August opening record domestically with an estimated $94 million. Overseas Guardians took in $66.4 million, so the film which had a budget of $170 mil has already made $160.4 mil worldwide since debuting overseas on Thursday.
Capitalizing on solid reviews (91% on Rotten Tomatoes) and an “A” CinemaScore, Guardians improved on its $37.8 million opening day to achieve the third-biggest opening of the year behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier at $95 mil and Transformers: Age of Extinction at $100 mil.It beat both the latest installments of other superhero franchises, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at $91.6 mil and X-Men: Days of Future Past at $90.8 mil.
The previous August record of $69 million was held by The Bourne Ultimatum back in 2007, which itself beat Rush Hour 2‘s $67.4 million from 2001. The first weekend of August has not really been a prime spot for big movies in a long time. Leave it to Marvel to change the game again. This means that now August may be viewed as a viable option in terms of where studios can schedule would-be tent pole films. Just like when Winter Soldier opened huge in April.
I hesitate to call it a full blown blockbuster yet as this summer has not been kind to legs, we’ll find out more next week.
But so far, what many felt was Marvel Studios’ riskiest move to date seems to have been not much of a risk after all. The marketing campaign they’ve employed has been a blueprint for how to sell an unknown property to the public.
A sequel directed by James Gunn has been announced already for July 28, 2017.