Marvel might have another hit on its hands as “Guardians of the Galaxy” looks to dominate the box office in its debut this weekend in theaters. While the film could reach $100 million, fans are buzzing about the team of outcasts featuring a talking tree and raccoon, as well as an interesting end credit scene.
The Hollywood Reporter notes “Guardians of the Galaxy” earned $37.8 million on Friday and will take the record of best August opening from “The Bourne Ultimatum.” THR projects a $92 million debut for “Guardians,” which opened in 4,080 theaters. Marvel’s latest appears to also be a hit at the foreign box office, earning $11 million since its release on Thursday. Box Office Mojo reports “Guardians of the Galaxy” earned $11.2 million in Thursday screenings in America.
The movie was considered a bit of a risk as it featured an unknown group of characters from an obscure Marvel comic and starring Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, or Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket Raccoon. While Chris Pratt is known for his role in “Parks and Recreation,” his biggest movie role prior to “Guardians” was providing the voice of Emmet Brickowoski in “The Lego Movie.” “Guardians” is not a cheap movie either, with a projected budget of $170 million that does not include marketing, but based on critical reception, currently 92 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and fan reception, an A grade on CinemaScore, Marvel Studios and Disney's bet paid off. Marvel announced "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" for July 28, 2017 at Comic-Con and James Gunn will return to direct the sequel.
Marvel was already having a great 2014 as "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is the number one movie of the year, to date, earning $258.9 million at the domestic box office and $454.3 million overseas for a total of $713.2 million, although that's no match for the $1.27 billion grossed by "Frozen" since its release in November 2013 or the $864.6 earned by "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in 2013.
With Marvel movies, part of the fun is sticking around to the end of the credits to see a fun scene or teaser for the next movie. The "Guardians of the Galaxy" end credits scene does not set up the next Marvel movie but features Howard the Duck. The talking, humanoid duck starred in a 1986 movie that was a critical and commercial flop. As Badass Digest notes, Howard the Duck seemed an unlikely candidate to ever appear in a Marvel movie but his appearance could be a nod to Marvel's weirder characters and the future of its cinematic universe.
While Marvel celebrates the success of "Guardians of the Galaxy," the studio is looking ahead to 2015 and the release of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." "The Avengers" grossed $1.5 billion in 2012 and its sequel is among the most anticipated movies of 2015.