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Marvel Studios and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy grossed a whopping $11.7 million on Monday, the best showing of the summer, save for Memorial Day. It’s also the best Monday gross for any Marvel title outside of The Avengers ($18.9 million).
That puts the tentpole’s four-day domestic total at a pleasing $106 million for director James Gunn after opening to $94.3 million over the weekend, the top August debut of all time and the third-best opening of 2014 so far after Paramount’s Transformers: Age of Extinction ($100 million) and fellow Marvel title Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million).
Still, Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be able to rescue the ailing summer overall in North America, although it has helped to close the gap. Last week, summer revenue was down more than 20 percent; it’s now down by 18.1 percent, according to Rentrak.
Overseas, Guardians has now earned $74.8 million from 42 markets, pushing its early global total to $181.8 million.
The Marvel and Disney tentpole is doing far more business than expected after receiving glowing reviews for its originality and an A CinemaScore from audiences. The movie received the widest release ever for an August title (4,080 theaters), and easily surpassed the debut of previous August record-holder, The Bourne Ultimatum ($69.3 million).
In terms of non-holiday Monday grosses this summer, Age of Extinction took in $10.8 million, followed by $8.8 million for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Godzilla grossed $7.7 million on its first Monday, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, $5 million (both those tentpoles launched in May, when school was still in session).
Featuring a rag-tag group of unlikely galactic heroes, Guardians stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace and Bradley Cooper, who voices the role of Rocket the raccoon. Vin Diesel, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro also star.
Guardians wasn’t a cheap proposition and cost $170 million to produce. That doesn’t include Disney and Marvel’s pricey and well-waged marketing campaign (it was no small feat selling a movie with no major stars).
Hype around Guardians has been so high that Marvel and Disney have already announced plans for a July 28, 2017 sequel, with Gunn returning to direct.
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