Marvel's “Guardians of the Galaxy” soared past the competition on Friday, earning $37.8 million.
The space-set saga will earn around $90 million or so for the weekend, well ahead of initial estimates which had the film opening in the $70 million range.
It will have no problem passing 2007's “The Bourne Ultimatum” to become the biggest August debut of alltime. That three quell opened to $69 million seen years ago.
“Guardians” is in good company with 2014's previous superhero film debuts.
Marvel's own “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” muscled up $95 million), while “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” swung to $91.6 million and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” picked up $90.8 million.
Meanwhile, the Scarlett Johansson holdover “Lucy” took the silver, pocketing another $5.5 million.
The other wide opener this week is the James Brown biopic “Get On Up,” which placed in third with a decent $4.9 million.
Directed by “The Help's” Tate Taylor, the film stars Chadwick Boseman and cost a reported $30 million to produce.
It's expected to earn around $15 million for the weekend, far below the $26 million earned by “The Help” in it's first weekend in 2011.
Fourth place went to “Hercules,” which earned just $3.1 million in its second week. So far, the Dwayne Johnson film has earned a low $44.7 million.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” earned another $2.4 million, bringing its domestic total to a big $183 million. It has already passed the $176 million earned by “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” in 2011.