Trailer Report: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Debut Blasts Off

The first preview for the untested space epic opened strongly with 16.4 million views, but it fell short of other Marvel comics movies coming in 2014.

Fans have been clamoring for a look at Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which has been shrouded in a fair amount of secrecy. 

Whereas Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past seem to have had an abundance of leaked stills, set photos and plot points, material from Marvel’s space adventure has seemed almost nonexistent. But interest was high — particularly in the CGI gun-toting, wisecracking raccoon character. 
With just about 24 hours' notice, Marvel dropped the first trailer last week and many questions were answered: Chris Pratt looks cool, there’s lots of space adventure here, Rocket Raccoon is going to be pretty awesome. (Left unanswered: What the hell is the plot? I defy anyone to tell me what's supposed to be going on here. But to be fair, the purpose of the first trailer seemed to be to simply familiarize the audience with the characters.) 
Fans responded enthusiastically, with the first Guardians trailer notching 16.4 million YouTube views in its opening week, according to technology firm Zefr, which tracks the numbers.
That debut compares favorably to the opening weeks of three other trailers for big Marvel films set to be released this year. In their first weeks, premiere trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 recorded 19.7 million views, X-Men: Days of Future Past 18.9 million views and Captain America: The Winter Soldier 17.6 million. For Guardians— a pretty obscure property compared to those three — to get within spitting distance is a pretty impressive feat. Its debut also outpaced other prominent 2014 movie trailers, including those for Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent and the recent Robocop remake. 
Also opening strong were the first coming attractions for The Purge: Anarchy and Think Like a Man Too, which did 4.7 million and 4.2 million views, respectively, to land in fourth and fifth place. 
The Purge: Anarchy is the sequel to the 2013 science fiction-horror film that grossed $89 million (on a $3 million budget). The Ethan Hawke-Lena Headey starrer about the one night a year future Americans are allowed to go all George Zimmerman on their fellow citizens opens June 20. 
In Think Like a Man Too we get another Kevin Hart film, just a couple of weeks after About Last Night opened, which opened just a couple of weeks after Ride Along (To be clear: Think doesn’t open in theaters until June 20 so there’s a short reprieve in the Year of Kevin Hart.) 
Also opening in the top 10 were Brick Mansions (Parkour! The Movie!), which sadly is Paul Walker’s last full film. Its debut coming attraction recorded 3.2 million views to land as the sixth-most-viewed trailer of the week. The movie about a cop (Walker) and a criminal (French parkour expert David Belle) who must break into a walled-off lawless urban neighborhood opens April 25. 
Trailing behind in eighth place was the second trailer for Transcendence, which debuted to 2.1 million views. 
Among returning trailers, the best-performing coming attraction was the Transformers: Age of Extinction Super Bowl spot, which recorded 8.4 million views (good for second place) for a total of 17.8 million views since its Feb. 2 release.
Correction: An earlier version gave wrong rankings for The PurgeThink Like a Man Too and Transformers. The rankings are now correct.