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Box Office: ‘Guardians 3’ enjoys heroic hold, ‘Book Club 2’ needs more members


James Gunn’s gang of galactic villains prove their worth at the box office as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 enjoy one of the best second weekend titles of any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

From Marvel Studios and Disney, the threequel is on track to make about $58 million in its second outing, down just 51 percent and more than enough to crush the competition. More good news: the photo crosses the $200 million mark domestically.

Marvel movies have been experiencing more than usual declines lately, so Guardians 3 is welcome news for Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios. That includes that of February 2023 Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniawhich dropped nearly 70 percent in its second weekend.

Only six movies in the MCU universe with more than 30 titles have dropped 51 percent or less in their second weekend. The list is headed by Black Panther (45 percent) and followed by Thor (47 percent), Doctor Strange (49 percent), Iron Man (50 percent), The Avengers (50 percent) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (51 percent).

Chris Pratt in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.’

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

At number 2 are Universal and Illumination The Super Mario Bros. movie, which is on track to gross $13.3 million in its sixth weekend for a domestic total of $536.3 million and $1.21 billion worldwide. This week, the blockbuster shattered another record in overtaking minions become the fourth-greatest animated film of all time and the greatest universal animation of all time, unadjusted for inflation.

New offer Book Club: The Next Chapter looks set to finish in third place with a dampened $7 million domestically, well behind the $13.6 million opening of the first Book club in 2018. From Focus Features, the film’s star-studded cast is again led by Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen.

book club 2 hopes it will move higher thanks to Mother’s Day.

But complicating factors include a so-so B CinemaScore from the audience (the first picture earned an A-) and unfavorable reviews. Even in the age of streaming, older females remain a difficult demo to win over.

Among Friday ticket buyers for book club 273 percent were female, while 67 percent were 47 and older, including nearly 50 percent over the age of 55.

The news is particularly worse for the weekend’s other new player, Hypnotic. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Ben Affleck, the sci-fi action thriller earns perhaps just $2.6 million in 2,118 theaters for a fifth-place finish (Affleck is doing double duty this weekend, between Hypnotic and his directorial effort Skywhich reaches Prime Video after an exclusive run in theaters).

Hypnotic foundered when distribution and production company Solstice Entertainment went bankrupt. Indie distributor Ketchum stepped down and releases the film together with Relativity in its own country. The photo also features Alice Barga, JS Pardo, Hala Finley and Dayo Okeniyi.

Estimates will be updated on Sunday morning.

HYPNOTIC, from left: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, 2023

Ben Affleck and Alice Braga in ‘Hypnotic.’

Ketchup Entertainment / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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