When it was first announced, we weren’t entirely sure how general audiences would respond to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The deep space adventure isn’t based on one of the comic book giant’s most known titles, and the core group is made of a thief, an assassin, a madman and two thugs, not to mention the fact that one of them is a talking raccoon and another is a giant alien tree. They’re not exactly your typical heroes. But then the movie looked totally awesome and fun. It was already tracking for a $60 million opening weekend, and broke August pre-sale records at Fandango, but it looks like it’s doing better than anyone expected. Last night, at early shows Guardians raked in $11.2 million dollars.
That’s a lot of money, but what does it actually mean and how does it stack up to the competition? First of all, that’s good enough to give the James Gunn-directed Guardians the biggest Thursday opening night of the year so far. This number tops some other notable openings of 2014. Transformers: Age of Extinction opened with $8.8 million, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned $8.7 million, Godzilla devoured a massive $9.3 million, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier brought in a whopping $10.2 million. That’s not bad company to be in.
All of those movies went on to earn more than $90 million dollars during their respective opening weekends, and become ridiculous global hits. Experts don’t necessarily expect Guardians to hit quite that hard, but it’s well on its way to becoming a financial success and earning back its $170 million price tag. It should also easily eclipse the previous August opening weekend record, the $69.2 million debut of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007.
There are a couple of things to take away from this opening. First, this seems to prove that Marvel can throw just about anything they want at the screen and people will pay to watch it. Their marketing did a fantastic job of not only pumping up their film, but also of introducing unfamiliar audiences to their outlandish cast of characters. I’ve never read a Guardians of the Galaxy comic in my life, but by the time I sat down in the theater, I was familiar with them and already felt like I knew these characters and what they were all about, like I had been following their adventures for years.
Second, Marvel definitely made the right choice by giving Guardians of the Galaxy 2 the green light. They made the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, and it’s already scheduled for July 28, 2017. If you’ve seen the movie already, odds are you’ll be pretty pumped up to see the continuing adventures of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel).
And make sure you stay through the very, very end, because this post-credits scene is a doozy.