Remember when people were like, “Oh, Marvel is crazy for putting out a comic book movie with a talking raccoon and that guy from Parks and Recreation. Do they think that audiences really want to see a jumbled mess of aliens and slapstick from a director who used to work for Troma?” And didn’t you just want to shove those people’s heads below water for a while? Thankfully, audiences are still turning out in droves almost a month after the film’s debut, and Guardians of the Galaxy can now officially call itself the biggest movie of Summer 2014. Take that, Ninja Turdballs.
Having already set a record for the highest August debut with its $94 million opening weekend, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy rocketed (or raccooned) itself back into first place this past weekend, pushing past Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and bringing in over $17 million in its fourth week out. That makes its total earnings top out at just over $255 million, far enough ahead of Michael Bay’s still-in-theaters Transformers: Age of Extinction to not worry about the bot-heavy tentpole reclaiming the summer throne. (Age of Extinction is currently at just under $244 million.)
By the end of next weekend, Guardians will almost certainly become the biggest domestic film of 2014 so far, as it’s only behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259 million) and The LEGO Movie ($257 million) in that respect. Of course, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 have yet to be released, but it’ll still be an enormous accomplishment for this spacey sci-fi laffer to make it anywhere near the top 5 earners of 2014. It’s the little mono-phrasing tree train that could. Let’s dance it out.
Now, Guardians is still nowhere close to Transformers: Age of Extinction‘s global box office total, which is currently sitting at $1.065 billion. BILLION! Guardians is doing nicely overseas, mind you, especially for a movie that isn’t extremely action-heavy or led by a major star. It’s raked in $245 million, though it has yet to be released in some of the globe’s biggest markets, such as China, Japan, and Germany. But even if it completely tanks in those markets, a worldwide box office of over $500 million is outstanding, especially for a movie based on a comic book no one really knew going in. That said, it had better NOT tank in those markets, or we’ll lose all faith in the rest of the world.
While Guardians of the Galaxy‘s success is certainly good for Gunn, the cast, and the Marvel execs who believed in this property, it’s just as positive for all the filmmakers and comic book creators whose non-superhero projects may have once been deemed “too weird” for Hollywood. People can breathe a little easier when thinking about Marvel (and DC, by extension) digging deeper into their libraries for more esoteric titles. (Moon Knight.)
Now the conversations can begin about how much money we think Guardians 2 will earn. I’m guessing more than $1 but less than $4 billion.