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Weekend Estimates: Guardians Posts Marvelous $145 Million Debut

May 7th, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

It’s the first weekend in May, and that means it’s time for another installment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Two years ago Avengers: Age of Ultron blasted out the gates with $191 million. Last year, Captain America: Civil War debuted with $179 million. And now, this weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 will launch with a shade over $145 million, according to Disney’s Sunday morning estimate. The steady decline in opening numbers for those three films raises a few questions about the long-term future of the franchise, but there is no universe in which $145 million isn’t a great performance.

For a start, this weekend is 54% ahead of the opening for the first Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. It’s also the 15th straight number one opening for MCU since the franchise launched in 2008. With $282.6 million overseas so far, and significant improvements in many territories from last time, the film has a shot at becoming the fifth Marvel film to top $1 billion at the global box office, although it could fall a little short of that mark. Based on this opening, the film should top $300 million at home easily, but my money would be on it ending closer to $350 million than $400 million. That leaves it the task of finding $650 million internationally—around a 50% increase from the performance of the first film. As usual these days, its performance in China will be key, and it’s starting out well there, with a $48 million opening, 75% ahead of the first Guardians film.

Key international market totals so far are as follows: China, $48m; UK, $35.7m; Germany $18.4m; Australia, $17.2m; France, $16.1m; Mexico, $14.8m; Brazil, $14.4m; Korea, $13.3m; Russia, $11.6m; Italy, $6.6m; Spain, $6.5m; Indonesia, $6.2m; Philippines, $5.0m.

Overall, Disney has now passed $2 billion at the global box office so far this year, with Beauty and the Beast contributing $1,185.7 million to that total. It is now the 11th-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide.

With Guardians so dominant, none of the other new releases playing nationwide were able to make any sort of progress. The Dinner will post a disappointing $755,348 or so from 505 theaters, for an average of just $1,500 per theater. Risk, Laura Poitras’ new documentary about Julian Assange, will start out with around $75,000 for Neon. That doesn’t sound bad for a documentary, but it is playing in 34 theaters this weekend, and that means it’s averaging only about $2,200 per location.

There are a few bright sparks from very limited releases, including Janus Films’ release of Stalker ahead of a Criterion release in a couple of months. The film will pick up an estimated $19,785 from a single theater. The Lovers will average $17,603 from four theaters, for a $70,410 estimated opening. And, finally, Chuck will also join the $10,000-average club with $40,416 expected from four theaters.

- Weekend estimates

- All-time highest-grossing films worldwide
- Biggest weekends in May
- Marvel Cinematic Universe box office history

- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 comparison chart
- Fate of the Furious comparison chart
- The Boss Baby comparison chart
- How to be a Latin Lover comparison chart
- Beauty and the Beast comparison chart
- The Circle comparison chart

Article updated 11.35am, Sunday, with additional weekend estimates.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Beauty and the Beast, Stalker, The Dinner, The Lovers, Chuck, Risk, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Laura Poitras, Julian Assange