If you have not seen James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy yet, then you are seriously missing out on quite possibly the most fun you will have in the cinema all year, so best you get down to your local big screen ASAP! If you have seen it, you will be remember Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) hissing the words “oh yeah” when he gets a new gun. I would imagine James Gunn did much of the same when the box office results came through.
As expected, Guardians of the Galaxy topped the box office charts in the US and around the world, and Marvel have once again conquered the global box office. I reported on Saturday that the film had the biggest opening Friday ever for the month of August in the US, and predictions were saying it could finish off anywhere between $95 million to possibly $100 million, which would make it the second biggest opening film of the year, behind Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Guardians didn’t quite reach the $100 million mark, which is a shame, but it opened huge regardless. The otherwordly heroes opened in the US with a whopping $94 million this weekend, smashing the previous August opening weekend record held by The Bourne Ultimatum ($69.3 million).
The film is now the third biggest opening film for 2014 in the US, behind Transformers: Age of Extinction ($100.038 million) and just behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million).
The space adventure blasted off with $66.4 million in 43 territories, including Russia, where the film bowed to $13 million, the United Kingdom with a $10.8 million debut and Mexico, where the picture premiered to $6.5 million.
“Overseas, this film is playing more like a sequel than an original,” said Dave Hollis, Walt Disney Studios’ executive vice president of theatrical distribution.
He argued that the picture is performing in line with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Thor: The Dark World,” and outpacing the first films in those series.
“Guardians’” territory count represents 50% of the international footprint and excludes a number of major markets, including Australia, where it opens next weekend, France, where it bows in two weeks, and Japan, where it will be unveiled on Sept. 13. The film has also been accepted into China, though it has yet to receive a release date. It will likely debut there in September.
After its first weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy has grossed a massive $160.4 million worldwide.
Here’s a look back at the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point:
Title Opening US Worldwide
1. Iron Man (2008) $98.6 $318.4 $585.1
2. The Incredible Hulk (2008) $55.4 $134.8 $263.4
3. Iron Man 2 (2010) $128.1 $312.4 $623.9
4. Thor (2011) $65.7 $181 $449.3
5. Captain America (2011) $65 $176.6 $368.6
6. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) $207.4 $623.3 $1.5 bil.
7. Iron Man 3 (2013) $174.1 $409 $806.4
8. Thor: The Dark World (2013) $85.7 $206.3 $644.7
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier $95 $258.9 $713.2
“It’s a testament to the momentum of the brand overall and all of the pieces just coming together in the right way,” said Dave Hollis, Walt Disney Studios’ executive vice president of theatrical distribution.
James Gunn is clearly very very happy with the results, and this weekend he has been working on the sequel, which is die for release on July 28th 2017. Gunn wrote a heartfelt letter to fans, thanking them for taking the time to see the film:
Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart. The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It’s for all of us who don’t belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we’re doing okay.
I am of course happy with all the film has accomplished box-office-wise. But what touches me the most is that the film I told the folks at Marvel I wanted to make two years ago is the film that you’re seeing in theaters today – it’s that so many of you seem to be directly EXPERIENCING the film I INTENDED. The cast, the producers, the crew, and I felt like we were making something special while we were making it. But it is very rare that a director’s INTENTIONS in creating a film, or a scene, or a character, or a line of dialogue are, seemingly, specifically what is experienced by an audience (not to mention critics!), and that seems to be what has happened here. You have allowed a talking raccoon – for a moment, a minute, or a day – to make you a little more human. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.
If I relied on myself to implement these intentions, the film would be a shambling mess. But instead, I had a wonderful cast, genius producers, an incredibly brave studio, sublimely talented visual effects artists, great editors, and the best damn crew of mostly-British bastards to actually implement these intentions for me. Where I had a good idea they would, through alchemy, transform it into a great one. Many of you involved are friends of mine on Facebook. Many of you will read this somewhere else. I love you all.
You may remember me posting here a couple weeks ago how sad I was to be finishing up the film, that I was having trouble letting go of Rocket, and that I was going to miss him. But seeing him (and Groot, and the rest of the team) embraced by the world like they have been, to be UNDERSTOOD, makes it a wonderful letting go. It’s like giving a foster pet up for adoption to the most wonderful parents in the world.
And, of course, I’m not really saying goodbye as, while many of you have been enjoying the film, I’ve spent this weekend hard at work on the sequel. I couldn’t help myself! The results are nice but it’s really the creative process I love and that keeps me going. I’m on fire with this thing! The Guardians have so many hardships and heartaches and triumphs ahead of them, and I can’t wait to share them with all of you.
Onto week two…
Guardians of the Galaxy is written and directed by James Gunn, and the cast includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, Peter Serafinowicz, and Benicio Del Toro.
The film was released in UK cinemas July 31st.
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.