Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to Blast Off With $65 Million

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy” arrives in our solar system this weekend, powered by the strength of one of the most powerful brands in movies — Marvel.

These interstellar adventurers are not well known to non-comicbook readers, but studio analysts are still projecting big things when the picture touches down in multiplexes. That’s because Marvel’s cinematic universe has grossed $6.3 billion since it kicked off with 2008’s “Iron Man,” making it the second most successful film franchise, trailing “Harry Potter.” The film is being marketed heavily on that record of success, with promotional materials heralding the picture as springing from the brains that brought audiences “The Avengers,” “Thor” and “Captain America.”

“There are very few brands other than Pixar that have the ability to transcend the typical marketing requirements,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “Marvel has the same cachet, and this film will really put that to the test.”

Walt Disney Studios, which bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009, is projecting a debut of about $65 million, but some analysts predict the offbeat space odyssey will blast off to $70 million or more.

The only other wide release hitting domestic theaters is Universal Pictures’ James Brown biopic “Get on Up,” which stars Chadwick Boseman (“42”) as the “Godfather of Soul” and is directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”). The film is expected to make $12 million-$14 million when it premieres in 2,466 theaters. The studio is pitching the film at an older, African-American crowd. Its international roll-out begins in September.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” may benefit from the post-“Avengers” bump that goosed grosses for “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” — all of which improved substantially on the ticket sales of the previous film in their series.

“There has been a steadiness and momentum with the brand overall that just crescendoed with ‘The Avengers,’ and the impact of that film continues to bleed into other films,” said Dave Hollis, Walt Disney Studios’ executive vice president of theatrical distribution.

The picture falls firmly into what Marvel has deemed its Phase II — films that spin off of the super-team film and broaden the universe to include new heroes and villains, some of whom aren’t as well known as Iron Man and Thor. Disney’s decision to place the picture in August, traditionally a slower point in popcorn movie season, seems to be playing to its advantage.

The pic will have the widest August opening in history. It debuts in 4,080 theaters, nearly 3,200 of which are in 3D. Also included in that tally are 350 Imax locations, roughly the same number of premium large screen formats, 125 DBox locations and two 4D locations.

Overseas, the film will bow in 42 international territories including the United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and South Korea.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” will find a summer that is dragging itself to the finish line and down more than 20% from last year’s record-breaker. That could work to its advantage.

“People are still looking for that one summer film to rally around,” said Shawn Robbins, assistant editor of

With Marvel’s track record, they may have found it.

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  1. OdinSon says:

    Notice Marvel Studios is extremely cheap when it comes to putting CG characters on the screen? I’m not talking about CG backgrounds or environments. Not spaceships or inanimate objects. Animated CG characters like aliens, beasts, monsters. They almost completely avoided that in the Thor films and went cheap, only using villains and characters they can dress an actor up in makeup and costumes. Now, notice here, besides Rocket and Groot, there are ZERO CG alien lifeforms :)? The “aliens” are actors dressed up in ostumes and makeup. Theres your aliens. After John Carter, Green Lantern, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Cowboys and Aliens, After Earth, Edge of Tomorrow, etc. Marvel’s cheap, network tv league production techniques may catch up to them…

  2. I just watched the movie and it was amazing. Fun and exciting, great characters and epic space battles, just what I want from a space fantasy/sci-fic superhero movie :D

    Definitely worth watching!

  3. honestly... says:

    I saw the film in a special screening and thought it was silly and overstuffed with the same CG explosions and destruction found in all the other Marvel movies. The racoon was annoying too and reminded me too much of that stupid mouse on Narnia. I wanted to like this movie but was a bit disappointed.

  4. Charlotte says:

    I can’t wait to see this film! There are so many great actors involved, I’m not surprised it’s getting great reviews. It’s not released in my region until August 14th, I’m sure it will be as popular with moviegoers here as it is in the US.

  5. big daddy D says:

    Now THAT would be hilarious! Lolol!

  6. Rob says:

    I think when they start adding characters like howard the duck it’s gonna go down hill quick.

  7. Ronnie says:

    I’m going to watch the James Brown movie.

  8. LOl says:

    Good grief, America; stop watching so much crap and try bettering yourselves. Have you know sense of shame about your proclivity for terrible things?

    I believe in a better America than what we have at present. I believe in an America that still matters.

  9. Chelsea says:

    Hearing a lot of good thing from all my film critics that I follow about this movie, can’t wait to it for myself.

  10. jhs39 says:

    I don’t know any people who are looking for a summer film to rally around. It’s always funny to see industry people comment on real people whom they clearly know nothing about.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      While the author’s wording perhaps isn’t the most elegant, the concept of rallying around a potential pop culture phenomenon, especially in a 24/7 social media driven culture, is very real for a large segment of the population. It’s human nature to seek out some commonality and level of acceptance with our fellow human, even if it’s some superficial pop reference

      • hahaha says:

        You would have a completely different viewpoint, Jacques, if this “pop culture phenomenon” happened to be called Twilight. Then your comments would sound more like the other haters on this message board.

      • Jedi77 says:

        Great answer!

  11. big daddy D says:

    Can’t wait for it! Let’s go!

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