It looks like the Disney/Marvel powerhouse has another hit franchise on its hands. Taking in $94 million during its debut weekend, Guardians Of The Galaxy has set an all new record for highest grossing domestic release in August.
Additionally, the film also captured the new record for an August IMAX debut with $11.7 million. When you add in the fact that it grabbed another $66.4 million overseas, we see the premiere weekend settling in at a very satisfying $160.4 million overall. For a film that had a production budget of $170 million, Guardians has shown that the Marvel name is a massive draw for moviegoers, even with little-known characters. It also more than justifies placing this movie in the capable hands of director James Gunn.
And while $94 million places Guardians in third place for the year (Transformers: Age Of Extinction netted $100M and Captain America: Winter Soldier is just barely holding second place with $95M) with regards to opening weekend, it is the highest grossing non-sequel film of 2014! Though August is traditionally known for slower attendance in general, and this summer’s ticket sales are down across the board almost 20% here in the States, Guardians is a nice shot in the arm for theaters nationwide. Opening on 4080 screens across the U.S., Guardians massively outperformed the original expectations of $65-70 million that was forecast for its debut. The previous record holder was The Bourne Ultimatum with 69.3 million back in 2007, something that Guardians blew past in its first two full days of shows. This tenth film from Marvel, along with its predecessors, has definitely proven that Disney’s $4 billion acquisition price is paying off in spades. The Marvel brand has never been stronger and even the casual moviegoer knows that a new film will be packed with awe, wonder, and awesomeness.
Owing much of its success to word of mouth and social media, Guardians Of The Galaxy has been heavily advertised as you would expect from any summer blockbuster. What’s slightly different here is that a large amount of the advertising was held back until the final week or so, really creating an overall awareness that possibly drove some extra ticket sales that is so unusual for a late summer release. Now, I’m not discounting the film as being awesome and worthy of the records it has taken, but I cannot disregard the hype that was built to almost a fervor right before the movie hit screen all over the country. Because make no mistake, Disney knew they had a hit before it ever opened, otherwise why would they have a sequel planned for July 28, 2017 (announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2014) without even seeing how the first was received? Because Marvel movies dominate the competition, that’s why. Whether it goes on to reap the astounding benefits that The Avengers did remains to be seen, but patrons have definitely made this film a hit. Not to mention that there are several international markets that have yet to see the release, namely China, Australia, and France.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read a comic book or heard of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Disney and Marvel have brought you another epic adventure that demands your attention. The humor, the excitement, the story all wrap themselves into a fun time for all. With a CinemaScore of A, the overwhelming majority of moviegoers are elated and this could lead to bigger and better things in the Marvel movie universe, like the rumored Guardians/Avengers crossover at some point in the future. If you haven’t seen it, you should. If you have, go see it again, you know you want to. And don’t forget to stay through til the end of the credits, like usual there is a small scene that you must see.