James Gunn, who is now overseeing DC Studios, bids farewell to his previous work with Marvel as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters worldwide this weekend. This Marvel movie continues the tradition of launching the summer season at the box office and comes soon after the annual CinemaCon event in Las Vegas, where theater owners and Hollywood studios gathered. Despite the threat of a writers’ strike, the mood was positive due to the success of Universal and Illumination’s The Super Bros. Movie, which has grossed over a billion dollars.
Most recent tracking numbers show Guardians 3 opening in the $120 million range domestically, which is notably less than the $146 million debut of 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but ahead of the $94.2 million opening of the first Guardians in 2014, not adjusted 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. Those that have include sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — which was released as the pandemic still raged on — and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Insiders at Marvel and parent company Disney are keen on Guardians 3, and believe it will benefit from good word of mouth. As of now, however, the film currently sports the lowest Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score of Gunn’s three movies. It’s also the longest in the series at two hours and 30 minutes.
Box office analysts say they wouldn’t be surprised if Guardians 3 comes in higher, and that tracking has been complicated by the massive success of Mario, whose voice cast is led by Guardians‘ star Chris Pratt, who had to find time to promote both movies.
Marvel could use a hit after the disappointing box office performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which opened ahead of the two previous Ant-Man installments but topped at a franchise-low $476.4 million worldwide.
In terms of the Guardian franchise, the 2014 film earned $333.7 million domestically and $439.6 million for a global booty of $773.3 million, according to Comscore, unadjusted. Guardians Vol. 2 took in $863.8 million worldwide, including $389.8 million domestically and $473.09 million overseas.
China turned in a sizable $86.3 million of the first film’s total gross, and $100.7 million for the 2017 sequel. But in the pandemic-era, Hollywood has seen seen many of its films turned away by Chinese government authorities — and Marvel titles in particular. And while Guardians 3 is opening day-and-date in China this weekend, it goes up against a high-profile Chinese title.
Marvel insiders praise Gunn for making a proper send-off that’s tinged both with emotion and humor. Guardians 3 reunites the writer-director with Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Newcomers include Chukwudi Iwuji as the villain the High Evolutionary, and Will Poulter, who plays the classic Marvel character Adam Warlock.
This new Guardians of the Galaxy movie focus on Rocket Raccoon, the character voiced by Cooper and played by Sean Gunn on set in motion-capture.
Written by: New Generation Radio