Guardians of the Galaxy Blasted to #1 at the Box Office
Guardians of the Galaxy blasted to the #1 spot at the box office this weekend, bringing in an August record for a domestic debut of $94 million and prompting some to call it “The Star Wars of this generation.” The Marvel/Disney collaboration is benefiting both companies. Disney distributes the movies and The Guardians of the Galaxy is just the latest blockbuster that has resulted from their team-up, adding to the success of the Iron Man movies and The Avengers flicks.
Box office estimates were that Guardians of the Galaxy would earn around $70 million. It surprised almost everybody with its box office take, but the action-packed comedic science fiction thriller had fans flocking to the theaters to see it. The previous August record-holder had been The Bourne Ultimatum, in 2007, which opened to $69.3-million. Worldwide, this weekend the movie has grossed $160 million, already almost making back ts production cost of $170 million, excluding the costs of the marketing campaign.
Though some people in the movie industry considered the actors who star in Guardians of the Galaxy as being second-rate, other than Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper’s voice as Rocket Raccoon, Marvel and Disney managed to make the Iron Man franchise into one of the biggest money-making franchises ever, at a time when Iron Man was considered a second-tier comic book superhero. Having Jon Favreau directing the Iron Man movies and Robert Downey Jr. starring as Tony Stark/Iron Man definitely helped the franchise, also.
When Disney bought the Marvel characters, other than Spider-Man and the X-Men members, many people questioned the wisdom of spending $4 billion to do so. However, it now looks as if Disney may have gotten a bargain. With The Avengers reaching $1.5 billion dollars worldwide, by itself, followed by the success of the sequel and the Captain America and Thor movies, both Marvel and Disney are doing quite well.
On Friday, alone, Guardians of the Galaxy raked in $37.8 million. Besides Vin Diesel voicing the tree-man Groot, who can only say “I am Groot,” Guardians of the Galaxy co-stars wrestler Dave Bautista in the role of Drax, Zoe Saldana playing Gamora and Chris Pratt starring as “Star Lord” Peter Quill. If Marvel/Disney can work the same magic with Dr. Strange and Ant-Man, they will continue what has already proven to be a very successful collaboration.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, as in other Marvel Studio movies like the second Thor movie, there was an Infinity Stone “at the center of the film,” as the website Comicbook.com puts it. In other Marvel/Disney movies, Marvel Studios has not been very forthcoming about which Infinity Stone was the main one in which movie.
Director James Gunn, of Guardians of the Galaxy, did give a few clues. Drax has possessed a red Infinity Stone in the past in the comic books, a stone which gives whoever possesses it any superhuman abilites the user wants and to become invincible. It can also power any machine. Marvel President Kevin Feige has said before that the Space Stone is the Tesseract and the Reality Stone is the Aether from Thor: The Dark World.
Guardians of the Galaxy was launched in 4,000 theaters, the largest amount ever for an August release. It is third in its debut weekend earnings this summer only to Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is also only the second in-house Marvel franchise that they have launched, the first one being The Avengers franchise.
What is more, Guardians of the Galaxy has had this year’s best earnings for an original property. It beat out The Amazing Spider-Man 3 ($91.6 million), Godzilla ($93.2 million) and X-Men: Days of Future Past ($$90.8 million).
Universal’s Lucy fell to second place in the box office earnings, taking in $18.2 million domestically. Universal is also behind the distribution of the Imagine Entertainment movie that debuted in the #3 spot. The James Brown biopic Get On Up, produced by Mick Jagger, earned a little over $14 million. Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in 42, stars in the movie as the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown. It cost just $30 million to make.
Paramount/MGM’s Hercules took the #4 spot this weekend at the box office. This action-packed Dwayne Johnson vehicle earned $10.7 million in 35 markets. It ended Sunday with overall earnings of $100.8 million.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came in at #5, taking in $8.7 million. It has, so far, an overall domestic take of $189.3 million and a global total of $449.3 million. Starring Andy Serkis in the role of the ape, Caesar, it has been one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters, though it did not matched the debut weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy had one of the best debut weekends at the box office so far this summer, blasting its way to the #1 spot. It has outpaced box office predictions of how well it would do, earning over $94 million. The movie is yet another winner in the string of hit Marvel/Disney collaborations. This is without Guardians of the Galaxy having many major stars, other than Vin Diesel and the voice of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon.
Written By Douglas Cobb