‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is the Highest-Grossing Domestic Release of 2014

Published 7 months ago by

Guardians of the Galaxy End Credits Scene Explained Guardians of the Galaxy is the Highest Grossing Domestic Release of 2014

To say that Marvel Studios’ outer space adventure Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t a sure bet would be an understatement. The movie stars a group of characters that virtually no one outside of hardcore Marvel comics enthusiasts had heard of, and while Gunn’s past movies like Slither and Super have found a fanbase, they can’t exactly be described as box office hits. Also, the best known actors in the movie play a CGI tree and a CGI raccoon.

Luckily, Guardians of the Galaxy proved to have an irresistible charm and released to a swathe of positive reviews and a strong opening weekend. Marvel was so confident in its potential, in fact, that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was announced at Comic-Con before the first movie even made it into theaters. Throughout August, Guardians of the Galaxy has been enjoying a steady success, particularly at the domestic box office, and now it has edged its way past Marvel’s other major release of the year.

Box Office Mojo reports that Guardians of the Galaxy has now surpassed Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the domestic box office with a current gross of $262,142,000. Let’s repeat that: Guardians of the Galaxy proved to be more popular in America than Captain America. According to Variety, box office analysts expect Guardians of the Galaxy to tip over $300 million domestically within the next few weeks, becoming the first movie of the year to do so.

Guardians of the Galaxy Photo Sean Gunn Michael Rooker 1024x517 Guardians of the Galaxy is the Highest Grossing Domestic Release of 2014

Don’t feel too bad for Steve Rogers; Captain America: The Winter Soldier still holds fourth place at the worldwide box office for 2014, taking in over $714 million compared to Guardians of the Galaxy‘s current count of just over $507 million. Since Guardians of the Galaxy‘s theatrical run isn’t over yet, however, the gap between the two will no doubt close even further over the next few weeks.

Between these two hits, it’s been a very good year for Marvel, but in a celebratory post on his Facebook page, Gunn insisted that there’s no ‘formula’ for Guardians of the Galaxy‘s success.

“To quote my favorite little monstrosity, ‘Oh… Yeah.’

“And although io9 may be right, that people like the movie because it’s funny, I like to believe it’s because WE GAVE A S**T. You aren’t numbers to us. You deserve to be given something we the creators believe in and that isn’t just seeking a big opening weekend. I love my characters, I care about the quality of the movie, and Marvel was cool enough to let us take some risks. Hopefully, THAT’S the lesson – that we’ll see more spectacle movies coming out of Hollywood that the filmmakers actually believe in, and that take risks, NOT just a bunch of superhero or space movies trying to be funny.”

The predictions for Guardians of the Galaxy definitely didn’t point towards the movie being a big hit, with io9, WhatCulture, CBM, HitFix and, yes, even Screen Rant questioning whether Gunn’s weird space opera would prove to be Marvel’s first flop after a six-year winning streak. Both the box office numbers and the critical response proved us wrong, and since the two are in such strong agreement, it could be the case that Marvel’s formula for success is just to keep making great movies.

Guardians of the Galaxy is in theaters now.

Source: Box Office Mojo

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Very well deserved. Well done to all involved.

  2. Keep in mind that GotG hasn’t even opened in some foreign markets yet, like Japan. That market alone could help push GotG’s world wide total higher if it’s well received.

    • Or China.

    • why haven’t they opened all the markets? Seems odd.

      • Many different languages to translate the movie into. I guess americans aren’t the only ones too lazy to read subtitles.

        • While this is true, this is always the case and some movies still are released the same date. In Switzerland (where you have 3 diffrent language translations) the movie came out 3 weeks later in the german part compared to the french part. And that this is because they dont have the translated versions jet.

          I dont know how and why studios do the thing they do in this respect.

          • The translation shouldn’t really be the (only) reason, though. Quite a few Marvel movies were released in other countries first before they even opened in the US (Iron Man, The Avengers and The Winter Soldier for example).

            Often it’s just a scheduling problem, because – believe it or not – other countries also make movies and they’d like some slots for their domestic movies, too. And in other cases it’s a delay that’s caused by licensing negotiations. Everyone wants a bigger slice of the pie.

  3. As it deserves! A great movie with superb scenes and cgi. The characters are so believable, in my opinion. Cant wait for number 2. And see when/if they’ll appear in any Marvel movies.

  4. I read James’s post and I have to say:

    James Gunn is the smartest man in Hollywood right now.
    So I shall give him +the number of dollars I wish that gotg would get:
    We need more guys like James.

  5. Either way, Marvel owned 2014 with the top 2 at the box office. At least until Hunger Games comes out.

  6. Guys, Marvel brought 2 kickass movies in one year. Meaning people will have more confidence in the Marvel brand.Aou will most likely kickass and I still have faith in ant man, bringing even more confidence.
    I have nothing against DC but… your move DC. You better be careful with your release dates.

  7. Guardians has become America’s #1 box office draw of the year.

    Meanwhile, the UK has The Inbetweeners 2 as its box office king of 2014.

    *shakes head in disappointment*

    I find it odd that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was considered America’s film to beat domestically, money wise. I’d have thought DOFP and Transformers had surpassed it, or are we talking purely Marvel Studios releases?

    (Otherwise, Cap 2 was easily beaten in 24 hours by TASM2 in the UK, which was then beaten by Godzilla, which was beaten by X-Men, which was beaten by TI2).

    • Don’t know what inbetweeners 2 is. Is it bad?

    • Neither X-Men nor Transformers are close to Cap 2 in the US domestic box office. They started strong and collapsed with little legs behind them. Captain America had a month before Amazing Spiderman 2 opened. Guardians had the Turtles, but they didn’t cut into its run.

      Disney currently has 3 of the top five movies. Maleficent being the third.

      • I wouldn’t call it a huge gap.

        Cap2 made $259 million domestically.
        Transformers made $244 million.
        And DoFP made $233 million.

        If we’re talking world wide though then Transformers is well ahead with more than $1 billion made. DoFP and Cap2 are at $743 and $713 million.

        • Studios don’t make nearly what the foreign box office states as they do domestically. The Foreign numbers look good, but they get 10 to maybe 20% of that number.

          Look at the trend lines. X-Men and Transformers FELL OFF THE MAP after their opening weekends. They had no legs and that is where that statement came from.

          • I am just stating gross numbers.

            All 3 are some of the highest grossing movies of 2014. I wouldn’t say that any of them collapsed with little legs. They all did very well.

    • cap 2 is the one to beat simply because it brought in more money in the good old USA.

  8. At the end of the day, FUN MOVIES WORK! Marvel gets it. I’m quite sure the realism fans don’t want to read this or agree with it. This film is going to make more than Man of Steel’s (and I own it btw) box office take of $291 million. Who would have thought, a movie of characters only comic fans know about, would past the iconic Superman?? This truly says a lot about the Marvel formula. FUN WORKS, PERIOD!

    • I’m more of a realism fan (CATWS is my favourite) but I don’t have a problem with fun movies having more success. If the movie works it’s good enough.

    • Yes Jay, you are (right).
      I am a cbm fan. I go see them all, and buy most of them when they release on DVD. But I am a particular fan of what Marvel Studios is doing. I love the shared universe they are building, and I love the FUN. And its not hard to see why Marvel’s movies are so successful. When I go see a cbm with a non-comic fan, they don’t get off on watching superheroes on the big screen like I do, they need something else. And since comic book drama can be a little melodramatic, what do they remember? The humour, the fun. It doesn’t suprise me at all that Guardians is doing so well.

    • *fun without being corny or childish. Which is harder to do than realism.

    • I couldn’t agree more. While I enjoy the realism of DC, I find the movies not fun to watch over and over. I much prefer the FUN of Hulk rag-dolling Loki on the backdrop of a good intertwining MCU story. When we role played as kids we did it the Marvel way.

    • @JayIsRight
      But what lesson will the suits take away from this? Talking about the non-marvel suits. We see a lot of people on the forums seeing rocket and groot and now they bring up every odd comic book character rather than the content of the movie. The story and the emotional resonance in GotG.

  9. People were worried this would flop and it ended up being a big hit, so people need to stop worrying about Ant-Man.

    • +100. I’ve been trying to tell people that for a while.

    • Just because one movie that people worried about did not flop, does not mean every movie people worry about will be a success.

      • Alot of people thought the first Iron Man movie would flop as well, so that’s two.

        • so it went right over your head. lol

  10. I’m glad the film is the most successful blockbuster of 2014 – as it definitely is the BEST yet – but having followed Box Office numbers for over a decade now, I consider $260 million domestically rather weak for a No. 1 tentpole.

    There used to be a time where huge hits made 350-450 million+ on a regular basis, even without 3D ticketing and 10+ years of inflation. Movies such as Avatar and The Avengers even made a lot more than that, but just think of POTC 2+3, TDK/TDKR, the original Spider-Man trilogy, early Transformers outings, the LOTR trilogy, various Disney / Pixar movies etc.

    This year, blockbusters all seem to settle for a much more ordinary result between 180 and 250 million and that’s not a lot of money given the enormous budgets of such movies. Anything below 300 million domestically can hardly be called a huge hit and Hollywood shouldn’t depend on delicate markets such as China… Either they cut back on budgets or do something to boost BO grosses once again. But this wasn’t a healthy summer for the Box Office suits…

    • Guardians will finish near $300 million. Stop saying “there used to be a time” that time was last year and will be again next year. This has been a down year for $350+ million movies, but it has been strong with movies that crossed $200 million. Nothing that was released this year could have been expected to cross $350 million. Everything we saw was part of a franchise of some kind. The only one that seemed like it would be fresh was Guardians(honorable mention to Lego movie).

      Sequels: 300 2, Rio 2, Cap 2, ASM 2(5), X-Men 5(7), HTTYD 2, Transformers 4, 22 Jump Street, Apes 2, Planes 2 Expendables 3, …

      Reboots/Re-imagined: Noah, Robocop, Godzilla 2, Maleficent, Ninja Turtles, Hercules, …

      Other Franchises: Divergent(YA book), Edge of Tomorrow(Tom Cruise), Tammy(McCarthy), …

      What movie do you think should have reached $350 million?

      The year finishes with some high potential; with, Interstellar, HG 3, Exodus and Hobbit 3. Given the right circumstance any and all four of those could cross $300 million.

    • Next Year will see Avengers 2, Hunger Games finale and Star Wars 7. All of those movies could cross $500 million. I bet that two of them do.

      Then we can include 2 original Pixar films, Despicable Me: Minions, James Bond 24, FF7, and a dozen potential $200+ million earners*. Next year will set Box Office records.

      *Ant Man, Terminator, Fantastic Four, Ted 2, Peter Pan, Cinderella, MI 5, Insurgent, six major animated films, …

  11. In one single post James Gunn has summed up the reason for Marvel’s success and why they are so completely dominant in this superhero movie genre.

    Zack Snyder and those cowards at WB / DC please read it again and again. Then take a long look at the characters at your disposal and just think of the huge potential that they have individually if utilised properly.

    Guardians will soon cross the $300 million mark in the US. It’s likely it will finish between $700 – $800 million worldwide. Fantastic.

    In four years Marvel have now four established solo character franchises that have / will gross over a billion dollars each.

    It is a certainty that Age of Ultron will decimate the 2015 box office and make at least $2 billion dollars worldwide.

    Marvel took a risk having no certainty of success and have now reaped the reward.

    WB / DC have Superman , Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern. Just imagine how big things could be with the mindset of people like James Gunn.

    Absolute cowards. Simple as that.

    • Very good points. Warner Bros doesn’t seem to get it. I hope they will prove everyone wrong. However in regards to AoU beating the box office champion, I think StarWars may have something to say about that.

  12. What a surprise, this explosion-filled waste of screen space makes more money than any of the more deserving films that have come out this year. Coming soon: Guardians of the Galaxy 2,3,4,5 and 6.

    • Hooray!!!! I’m down with Marvel, if they want to bring Guardians of the Galaxy 2,3,4,5 and 6 to the screen. I will be first in line, because I know they are going to be FUN MOVIES. FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

  13. In my opinion the movie was good but not the cinematic masterpiece everyone is making it out to be.

    • I wouldn’t call it a cinematic masterpiece, but it achieves everything that it set out to do perfectly. A burger isn’t a culinary masterpiece either, but it tastes damn fine and I want more of it!

      • I agree with what you said, it’s just that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

        • “I agree with what you said, it’s just that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.”

          You know i had the exact same experience. I was waiting to have a blast, then meh. I liked it, but it wasnt as fun as i thought would be to be honest. Still Its an interesting movie, and i actualy like James Gunn as a director from other movies.
          Good movie to bring the kids and to fandom about the 80s references, but thats about it. I actualy was able to enjoy days of future past or Cap 2 much more.
          I also think people are reading too much from what James said in his post referince DC i mean. I dont think that of DC/WB. If anyone thinks DC doesnt care about their characters then they are mistaken. They just have a diferent plan then marvel. In fact they dont need to do what marvel as being doing. I actualy would like to see something slightly diferent from DC.
          If i want to see non dimensional, and fun pop corn movies ill go with Marvel. I actualy want DC stuff to be diferent than that, i want them to be more drama, character driven, with something to say. That said i could live without the pretensious Nolan stuff. Just give me good memorable characters, decent scrip, and the noir feeling of it. They dont need to copy Marvel, they do need to do their own stuff and comit. Regardless i dont need to tell them WB and Dc already announced alot fo movies for the future so.

  14. Meh, “fun” is overrated. I enjoyed Guardians immensely, but it is the only “fun” movie I enjoyed at the box office this year.

    I enjoyed Cap 2 for being the action thriller that it is.
    I enjoyed Xmen for being the best Xmen produced movie in decades.

    Xmen, Cap and Guardians were essentially my best comic book movies for 2014. Each one is different. And I like that kind of diversity in my movies.

    • I feel the same way. It really irks me when people say that movies (comic book movies in particular) NEED to be made a certain way or else it’s a knock against it. Whatever happened to appreciating something for what it is.

  15. And This is why Guardians was my favorite Marvel Movie so far, out of ALL of them since 1999 (Spiderman/X-Men). I think GOTG has the most heart, the best comedy, the most quirky but perfectly balanced characters, and the best setting(outer space)! So far my top three Marvel flicks are Guardians Of the Galaxy (#1), The Wolverine (#2), Captain America 2 (#3). These films all have a great story/plot and heart IMO. The Avengers was amazing but the plot was meh, The Amazing Spiderman 2 was also a beautifully shot film, but a simple plot(meh). GOTG wins!!

  16. I vote for James Gunn to direct the next Hulk solo film if any in the future. Not that i didn’t enjoy the last film, because i did alot more than Eric Bana’s film. But wasn’t it TIH that recieved less gross than any Marvel film to date? I just think the next Hulk film could use a director like James Gunn or Captain America:TWS director’s calibur to direct it.

  17. To Dc/Wb : “on your left”

  18. When I first heard they were doing Guardians of the Galaxy I had zero interest.

    I changed my mind about 5 seconds into the first trailer.

    It was really more Star Wars than super hero movie but without being locked into the tired old dark/light side of the force.

    The characters were well drawn and as another poster wrote Peter Quill was given a very good personal journey.

    To top it off Guardians of the Galaxy was to me the first sci fi film that looked like those science fiction posters you would see through the 70′s and 80′s. The stylisation was perfect. Compare that with say Darth Maul who looked no better than kids wandering the streets on Halloween in terms of the quality of makeup. Star Wars was often very poor in that department.

    Remember that it has been the second incarnations of Thor and Captain America that upped the quality of film making significantly whereas Guardians started as a top shelf production right out of the gate.

    If I had to nit pic I would probably like to have seen people watching news reports on Xandar where our heroes were labeled Guardians of the Galaxy to add a little more Cynicism when Ronan calls them that at the end of the film. And to have cameras on Ronan saying that to the entire planet via tv.

  19. Eh, for all the talks about how this movie has taken a lot of risk, I don’t think it’s really that daring. All the quirkiness never go beyond the fact that the team comprised of criminals, spac e raccoon and a living plant. The story, plot, visuals, and nearly everything else are typical marvel movies.

    It’s still a fun movie, though. The cast and the director’s enthusiasm practically ooze out of the screen.

  20. Now… where that “rolan” character? Must be too busy eating crow or just hiding under a different name.

  21. guardian of the galaxy isnt out eveywhere yet
    some countries in europe still waiting for the opening

    i know that in greece the movie opens 4th of september

  22. Hopefully it will help pave the way for more originality and risk taking at Marvel…