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Marvel and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rocketed to $56.3 million Friday from 4,347 theaters for a weekend debut in the $140 million range at the North American box office, well ahead of the first film.
On Thursday night alone, the quirky superhero sequel nabbed $17 million in previews, compared to $11.2 million for Guardians of the Galaxy in August 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy — a surprise hit considering it features a rag-tag group of lessor-known superheroes — opened to a strong $94.3 million on its way to grossing $773 million globally.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — earning an A CinemaScore — officially kicks off the summer season at the box office. This is the fifth year in a row that a Marvel tentpole has done so. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested anywhere from $130 million to $150 million.
With James Gunn once again directing, Guardians Vol. 2 sees the return of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill, who brings his team back together to fight off evil forces while he seeks to unravel the mystery of his parentage. Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan star along with Vin Diesel as the voice of baby Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Elizabeth Debicki, Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone join the cast for the new installment.
Overseas, Guardians Vol. 2 opened last weekend in a raft of foreign territories, where it is well ahead of the first film. Through Thursday, it has amassed an impressive $167 million. (It debuts in China today.)
The film debuted in Korea on May 3 with a $3.3 million opening day ($4.4 million including previews) for the biggest opening day of 2017, the biggest May opening day and the No. 3 opening day ever for an MCU release there. Thursday brought another $1.9M, which brings the cume to date to $6.3M, with today being Children’s Day holiday.
It opened on May 4 in Russia with an estimated $2.8 million, 41 percent ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy.
May 5, 12:15 p.m. Updated with weekend projections.
May 6, 7:50 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers and revised weekend projections.
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