The summer blockbuster season kicked off this weekend with another Marvel movie, which it has done nearly every summer since the release of Iron Man in 2008. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 did not break any records, but it absolutely did what it was supposed to do: Improve upon the opening weekend of the original and keep the Marvel momentum moving forward.
The film itself continued to be the crowd-pleasing gem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, combing humor and music into a story that is allowed to exist mostly outside of the Earth-based Avengers. Sunday estimates put the opening in the $145 million range, give or take. That’s about $50 million more than its predecessor opened with, and it’s the fifth best opening for a Marvel film, behind the official Avengers movies, the unofficial Avengers movie (Civil War) and Iron Man 3. It should also keep the Marvel fires stoked ahead of two more releases this year, Spider-Man: Homecoming in July and Thor: Ragnarok in November. Marvel can also add that $145 million to the $167 million it made overseas last weekend, so the film should come out of this weekend with around $400 million globally.
Word of mouth has also been incredibly positive. The film received an A Cinemascore, and a solid 82 percent from Rotten Tomatoes, which means it should have strong enough legs to challenge next week’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which is receiving plenty of buzz but not all of it is good. Guardians 2 played well among all ages (skewing slightly older and male) and while the audience wasn’t nearly as diverse as the Fast and Furious audience, it played reasonably well with POC. Accordingly to Deadline, fifty-four percent of all GOTG 2 moviegoers were white, 19 percent were Hispanic, 12 percent were African American and 9 percent were Asian. Notably, 19 percent of attendees said they went for Zoe Saldana.