Disney/Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” lived up to its high expectations with an estimated $145 million at the domestic box office over the weekend, according to Exhibitor Relations.
That puts the movie in 6th place on the all-time opening weekends for May. It’s wedged between “Spider-Man 3” ($151.1 million) and “Iron Man 2” ($128.1 million).
This marks the 15th release by Marvel Studios. Every single one has gone to number one at the domestic box office its opening weekend.
Following a $56 million take on Friday (including $17 million in Thursday preview screenings), the movie then took in an impressive $51 million on Saturday. If you subtract the Thursday preview coin that’s a 30% spike over the movie’s take on Friday.
It’s rare that a movie’s Saturday has that kind of performance after a strong Friday, so word of mouth has certainly been strong. An 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes also doesn’t hurt.
Then there’s the unique fun the “Guardians” franchise has over its equally successful counterparts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Director James Gunn’s sarcastic writing style and use of classic songs has built a loyal following, while characters Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Yondu (Michael Rooker), and, of course Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) have evolved nicely from the hugely successful 2014 original.
All that adds up to Marvel Studios having another hit movie in a franchise that doesn’t look to have a finish line anytime soon.