Weekend Box Office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Zooms to $145M Debut
The quirky superhero sequel has earned $427.6 million globally; elsewhere, transgender teen drama '3 Generations' and Julian Assange documentary 'Risk' both fall flat at the specialty box office.
For the fifth year in a row, a superhero entry from Marvel and Disney has kicked off the summer box office in high style.
This time, the spoils belong to James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which debuted to $145 million from 4,347 theaters over the weekend — more than 54 percent ahead of the first film — for an early global total of $427.6 million. Males fueled the movie (56 percent), while 40 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.
In its second weekend of play overseas, the quirky superhero sequel earned another $124 million from 55 markets for an early foreign total of $282.6 million. Among new territories, China led with $48 million, followed by South Korea ($13.3 million) and Russia ($11.6 million).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has pushed the Marvel Cinematic Universe past $11 billion in combined global grosses, according to Disney.
Gunn's follow-up 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.
In early August 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy opened to $94.3 million, an impressive number for a lesser-known group of superheroes. The movie went on to earn $773.3 worldwide. Last summer, Warner Bros. and DC's Suicide Squad, likewise based on lesser-known superheroes, opened to $133.7 million on its way to grossing $745.6 million worldwide.
Guardians Vol. 2 got the widest Imax opening ever, with 1,088 screens delivering $25 million worldwide.
Among holdovers, Universal's The Fate of the Furious passed the $200 million mark domestically after grossing $8.5 million from 3,595 locations for a $1.16 billion cume globally. Universal's Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, also scored a victory in topping the $200 million mark worldwide (the movie has earned $173.9 million domestically and $30.5 million offshore).
Pantelion Films' How to Be a Latin Lover placed No. 5 with $5.3 million from 1,203 cinemas for a 10-day total of $20.7 million. And Indian film Baahubali: The Conclusion continued to impress, earning $3.2 million from a mere 425 theaters for a total $16.2 million.
While no other film dared open nationwide against Guardians Vol. 2, there were plenty of new offerings at the specialty box office.
Despite a high-profile ratings dust-up, The Weinstein Co.'s transgender drama 3 Generations bombed in its debut, grossing $20,100 from six theaters for a theater average of $3,353. The movie stars Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon.
In comparison, A24's The Lovers, starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, opened to $70,410 from four theaters for an average $17,603.
Laura Poitras' Julian Assange documentary, Risk, also debuted this weekend, earning $75,179 from 35 theaters for a disappointing theater average of $2,211. In 2015, Poitras won the Oscar for best documentary for Citizenfour, about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Neon is distributing Risk.