Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has blasted off to a blockbuster opening weekend at the box office. Written and directed by James Gunn, the film is the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2014 tale about a group of galactic outlaws-turned-heroes that took superhero audiences by surprise with its unusual pairing of five antiheroes, expanding the potential for future movies in the MCU.
Naturally, the core group of Guardians – Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) are all back for Vol. 2, but the anticipation for the film has been ramped up by a storyline where Star-Lord meets his long-lost intergalactic father, Ego (Kurt Russell). Everything’s bigger, including the box office predictions. Now the final numbers are and they very much match those expectations.
According to Variety, Vol. 2 earned $145 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend at the domestic box office, which comes in at the lower end of the $140 million to $160 million projection by analysts for the opening of summer movie season.
Opening in more than 4,300 locations, Vol. 2 had a lot of momentum going for it heading into the weekend. Following positive first reactions to the film and mostly favorable reviews from critics (the film’s aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes has been certified fresh at 82 percent) Vol. 2 made more than $101 internationally in 37 foreign territories last weekend. The film upped its overseas take this weekend, earning another $124 million in several more foreign territories, including Korea, China and Russia. Combined with last weekend’s take, the film has earned about $269 million in foreign territories. Globally, Vol. 2 has made $428 million in two weeks.
The $145 million opening of Vol 2. is an impressive one for Disney/Marvel Studios, albeit not the largest they’ve ever seen. The first Avengers film still holds the record for the biggest opening for a May film with a monolithic $207 million opening in 2012, followed by Avengers: Age Of Ultron ($191.3 million), Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million), and Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million). Still, Vol. 2 has fared very well. For comparison, the first Guardians of the Galaxy made $93 million in its opening domestic frame in August 2014 on the way to a final domestic haul of $333 million.
Vol. 2 had literally no competition at the domestic box office this weekend. The Vin Diesel-Dwayne Johnson star vehicle The Fate of The Furious made $8.5 million at nearly 3,600 locations to up its domestic box office take to $207 million. The Boss Baby came in third with $6.2 million in ticket sales, while How to Be a Latin Lover ($5.3 million) and Beauty and the Beast ($5 million) filled out the top five.
This is just the start for Guardians 2, which if positive word-of-mouth holds could see it taking on the original’s impressive total haul of $773 million.