Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy has broken the August record of biggest opening weekend, smashing the old record by almost 30 million dollars in North America. It also created a buzz about that post-credits scene starring a long lost friend with an affinity for cigars.
It looks like the summer box office won’t be a total disaster after all, thanks to the lovable heroes from a far off galaxy. Nope, not those people from Star Wars. I’m talking about Marvel’s new hot property, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Opening in North America this weekend, the space opera grossed an estimated $94 million dollars, destroying the previous record in August, which came from The Bourne Ultimatum, which dropped $69.3 million back in 2007. Considering that Guardians was estimated for only $65-$70 million for the weekend by most box office tracking, this goes down as a great victory for Marvel and any future non-sequel properties they might launch.
Word of mouth and the glowing reviews that Guardians garnered definitely helped get the box office numbers up to near the $100 million mark over the weekend. For the year, it only trails the opening weekends of Transformers: Age of Extinction and Marvel’s own Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which each got $100 million and $95 million respectively. The numbers worldwide are just as impressive for Guardians, as they did over $160 million and still have yet to open in markets in Europe, Australia and China. Marvel bucked the trends this summer by having two of the largest opening weekends this year in typical softer box office business months of April and August. The machine of Disney and Marvel seemed to have an idea that this movie was going to be a rousing success as they announced at Comic-Con that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be released on July 28, 2017. Director/Co-Writer James Gunn has already begun work on the sequel and penned a great letter to the fans showing off his gratitude and excitement that unfolded over the weekend:
Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart. The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It’s for all of us who don’t belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we’re doing okay.
I am of course happy with all the film has accomplished box-office-wise. But what touches me the most is that the film I told the folks at Marvel I wanted to make two years ago is the film that you’re seeing in theaters today – it’s that so many of you seem to be directly EXPERIENCING the film I INTENDED. The cast, the producers, the crew, and I felt like we were making something special while we were making it. But it is very rare that a director’s INTENTIONS in creating a film, or a scene, or a character, or a line of dialogue are, seemingly, specifically what is experienced by an audience (not to mention critics!), and that seems to be what has happened here. You have allowed a talking raccoon – for a moment, a minute, or a day – to make you a little more human. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.
If I relied on myself to implement these intentions, the film would be a shambling mess. But instead, I had a wonderful cast, genius producers, an incredibly brave studio, sublimely talented visual effects artists, great editors, and the best damn crew of mostly-British bastards to actually implement these intentions for me. Where I had a good idea they would, through alchemy, transform it into a great one. Many of you involved are friends of mine on Facebook. Many of you will read this somewhere else. I love you all.
You may remember me posting here a couple weeks ago how sad I was to be finishing up the film, that I was having trouble letting go of Rocket, and that I was going to miss him. But seeing him (and Groot, and the rest of the team) embraced by the world like they have been, to be UNDERSTOOD, makes it a wonderful letting go. It’s like giving a foster pet up for adoption to the most wonderful parents in the world.
And, of course, I’m not really saying goodbye as, while many of you have been enjoying the film, I’ve spent this weekend hard at work on the sequel. I couldn’t help myself! The results are nice but it’s really the creative process I love and that keeps me going. I’m on fire with this thing! The Guardians have so many hardships and heartaches and triumphs ahead of them, and I can’t wait to share them with all of you.
Onto week two…
We love you too Mr. Gunn. Not only for that, but for also reintroducing an old friend back into the pop culture vocabulary. For those that haven’t seen the movie or haven’t had it ruined on your Facebook feeds over the weekend, Spoiler Alert ahead.
At the end of the credits, we see The Collector (Benicio del Toro) bandaged up and sipping on a drink as Cosmo (the USSR space dog) licks his face. We then get treated to the reemergence of Howard the Duck. It’s a very quick scene that seems more wink and nod than anything else, but the sheer fact that he showed up (voiced by Seth Green) might possibly mean we might see more of him.
However, it may be more likely for him to pop up in the Guardians sequel than seeing his own movie. After all, it’s already been 28 years since the George Lucas-helmed Howard the Duck movie came out, and the bitter taste of that movie is still in everyone’s collective mouths. It’s TERRIBLE.
But it is interesting to note that he definitely resembles the comic book version more than the movie version, so they might be trying to right a few wrongs. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what Marvel uber-producer Kevin Feige has up his sleeve.
What did you guys think of the movie? What was the best part of the movie for you? Are you excited for the sequel? Please let us know in the comments below or by visiting our GEEK Facebook page and leaving your thoughts there!
Image: Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics, Universal Pictures