Marvel has done it again.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” soared to a massive $11.2 million Thursday night, a record for this year so far.
Marvel's own “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” had a Thursday night debut of $10.2 million back in April and bowed to $95 million for that weekend.
“Guardians” was initially eyeing a $70 million+ weekend, but it may reach as high as $90 million. Either way, it should have no trouble passing the $69.2 million opening of 2007's “The Bourne Ultimatum” to become the top August opener of all time.
Chris Pratt leads the ensemble cast of the sci-fi superhero joint which breaks away from the established Marvel tone, while still maintaining direct ties to “The Avengers” and the other previous films from the studio.
“Guardians” is also off to a good start internationally, where it earned another $11 million on Thursday. The film cost some $170 to produce and was considered by some to be a risker proposition that previous Marvel titles.
The James Gunn-directed film also stars Zoe Saldana, Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.
The other big opener this weekend is the James Brown biopic “Get On Up,” starring “42's” Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul.
Check HitFix for box office updates throughout the weekend.