Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Explodes Friday for $90 Million Opening

Guardians of the Galaxy

Summer box office is receiving a much-needed boost, thanks to a boffo opening by Marvel-Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Early Friday afternoon estimates placed the new superhero property’s opening weekend at $90 million — far above recent forecasts in the $70 million range.

Starring Chris Pratt, “Guardians” debuted to the highest Thursday opening of the year with $11.2 million and should easily score the best August debut of all-time, besting the $69.3 million haul of “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

It’s also the widest August opening in history with 4,080 theaters, nearly 3,200 of which are in 3D, carrying with them surcharges. Overseas, the film will debut in 42 international territories including the United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and South Korea. The picture carries an $170 million production budget.

Box office trackers quickly revised projections in the wake of the stellar performance at the Thursday-night preshows, which topped the $10.2 million take for Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

“Guardians,” directed by indie stalwart James Gunn, was on track to total $36 million on Friday — including the Thursday night take — followed by about $30 million Saturday and $23 million to $24 million Sunday.

“Guardians” stars Pratt as the Star Lord along with Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace and Bradley Cooper, who voices the wisecracking Rocket Racoon. The film has been a big hit with critics with a 91% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Universal Pictures’ James Brown biopic “Get on Up” appeared heading for a $5 million Friday and a $14.6 million opening weekend. It grossed an estimated $371,000 late Thursday in 1,769 locations.

Universal’s second weekend of “Lucy” looked likely to finish second with about $19 million, declining 57% from its surprisingly strong opening. Friday estimates placed the Scarlett Johannson actioner at $5.6 million.

“Lucy” should finish the weekend with a domestic cume above $80 million.

Paramount-MGM’s “Hercules” showed little strength in its second frame with $3.2 million on Friday. The $100 million Dwayne Johnson epic was headed for a weekend in the $10 million to $11 million range, representing a sharp decline in the 64% range.




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  1. the_logician says:

    Face it, those who decried Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Studios must now eat crow. A lot of crow.

    • Guido merkens says:

      Face it, if all the geeks who saw Guardians opening weekend asked a girl on a date instead, their lives would be a lot less depressing.

  2. Timothy Jones says:

    3D adds nothing to the film by the way, not worth spending the extra money for 3D. Actually, only fully animated films benefit from 3D. Just a cheesy scheme that has been reborn and still does nothing to make them better.

  3. Joel says:

    Attention Hollywood: The school year now starts in August. Many children will be back in school next week. Nearly every person under 18 will be back in school before August ends.

    This should have been released July 4 weekend — at the latest.

    • billyp01 says:

      seriously..what were they thinking with an august release?? i guess thats why they didnt make any money on the opening wknd! oh, wait.. they almost made 100million and broke all kinds of records. i guess they know what theyre doing and why youre just sitting online complaining

      • the_logician says:

        Or, it was a tactical decision to pretty much assure Disney/Marvel a huge opening for this past weekend.

  4. I hope this movies does good.

  5. Awesome movie! Saw it this morning (on company time, no less. Shhhh…). Will watch it again before weekend is over.

  6. JoelR says:

    Probably the movie that GREEN LANTERN should have been

  7. william says:

    you are so right. Its about time

  8. harry georgatos says:

    If there”s a movie that deserves $100 million in it’s opening weekend it is Guardians. This is a fun subversive ride and the,best Marvel film to,date. Hugely entertaining.

  9. I think it’ll be over $100 million considering it’s the record-breaker for Thursday night opening of 2014. I bet either a $100.5 million dollar opening weekend or a $105 million dollar opening weekend.

  10. That happens when you produce a great movie with an actual story line. By far the most entertaining movie of the year for me.

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