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Box office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Hoping for $110 Million Domestic Opening


James Gunns Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 topped Friday’s box office chart with $48.2 million for an expected $110 million domestic opening, on the very low end of expectations and well behind the last film in the standalone Marvel Studios franchise.

The film’s first run isn’t welcome news for Marvel or Gunn, who now run rival DC Studios, and raises further concerns that superhero fatigue has set in at the box office.

Guardians 3 it certainly does not lack public love; it earned an A CinemaScore and strong exit scores on PostTrak. Marvel and Disney hope this translates into a long run at the box office regardless of opening weekend. Reviewers feel different from consumers, with the film having the lowest Rotten Tomatoes critic score of the three films.

2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 started with about $47 million on the first Friday, but went up to $146.2 million for the weekend. (The first Guards opened domestically to $94.2 million in 2014, unadjusted for inflation.)

It’s unusual for a title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to open behind the previous installment in a respective series, but not unheard of. Sequels that didn’t open as high include Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverwhich was released when the COVID-19 pandemic was still raging, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If projections hold, Guardians 3 will open on par with the recent Marvel picture Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniawhich posted a three-day domestic opening of $106 million (comparisons are complicated by the fact that Ant Man 3 opened over Presidents’ Day weekend for a $120 million four-day debut). However, that film was ultimately deemed a disappointment after reaching less than $500 million, a low point in the franchise.

The Guards threequel continues a long tradition of Marvel movies kicking off the summer season at the box office.

Heading into the weekend, the most recent tracking revealed Guardians 3 domestic opening of $110 million to $120 million. Initial tracking showed it launched to $130 million, so the drop no doubt related to Marvel and Disney.

Overseas, the film has made a promising $71.5 million in its first three days from 52 markets for a worldwide total of $119.7 million through Friday. It continues to roll out around the world today. Disney sources say they’re encouraged by early returns, though China is a big question mark.

Guardians 3 reunites Gunn with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Newcomers include Chukwudi Iwuji as the villain of the High Evolutionary and Will Poulter, who plays classic Marvel character Adam Warlock.

After four weekends of bossing Universal and Illumination’s billion-dollar blockbuster The Super Mario Bros. movie – voiced by Pratt – will eventually fall to number 2 with an estimated $18.5 million for a hefty domestic total of over $518 million and well over $1 billion worldwide.

Elsewhere, Screen Gems and Sony’s romantic comedy In love again dared to open opposite Guardians 3 because it goes after a different audience. The movie appears to be DOA with an expected $2.6 million opening after making $955,000 on Friday, good enough only for a fifth-place finish.

Written and directed by Jim Strouse, the movie stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan and Celine Dion (who provided multiple new songs for the female crooked picture).

More to come.

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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