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‘Guardians’ Jumps To Interstellar Opening Weekend

Marvel Studios

While many critics have derided James Gunn’s sequel to his 2014 blockbuster, saying that the expectations were too high and the sequel fails to match up to the 2014 installment – personally, I beg to disagree –  their harsh words weren’t enough to keep both fans and casual moviegoers alike away from the latest Marvel Studios release this weekend.

According to early tracking estimates via Box Office Mojo, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 ran away from the competition and never looked back. With studios shying away from releasing against Marvel Studios, Gunn’s sequel is showing $145 million in estimated box office receipts. Factor in the worldwide take, the sequel has now grossed roughly $427 million. At present Volume 2 is outpacing the original by $50 million. For a writer/director more known for Warner Brothers’ live-action Scooby Doo movies and Universal’s Slither, Gunn is well on pace to join the Billion Dollar Club. Gunn’s follow-up had a $200 million dollar budget, only $30 million more than his first Marvel feature, and should easily clear $500 million within the next week. (Just thinking that Marvel had basically no interference in the sequel’s story and tone bodes well for Volume 3, already announced with Gunn returning to helm and write.)

In second place was F. Gary Gray’s Fate of the Furious, dropping 57% to haul an additional $8.5 million. The eighth installment of the wildly popular Vin Diesel franchise has officially grossed $1.2 billion dollars for Universal, trailing only 2015’s Furious 7. As expected the latest sequel has drummed up most of its money overseas, $951 million versus $207 million here in the United States. As for the domestic numbers Fate currently ranks fourth in the series but is expected to leap frog Fast Five ($209 million) within the next two days and Fast & Furious 6 ($238 million) by the end of its theatrical run. Seeing as how Chris Morgan is already talking about a potential sequel, it’s a matter of time until Fast 9 is green lit for production. The real question is how much longer the franchise can wheel and deal – Morgan previously indicated three more entries following Furious 7 but could Universal get greedy?

Not far behind in third with $6.1 million was The Boss Baby. The Alex Baldwin-voiced movie has been a sleeper hit for Dreamworks, reeling in a total of $434 million worldwide since release on March 31st. The film is averaging a meager 30% drop off week after week and should have no problem crossing $450/$460 million before leaving theaters. Beauty and the Beast, coming in fifth, roared with another $4.9 million. The Disney remake, released 52 days ago, has already accumulated $1.2 billion worldwide for the House Of Mouse. Already in the pipeline are live-action remakes of The Lion King and Aladdin. Wonder how long it’ll take before we see Oliver and Company get the live action treatment? I can dream.

Though, the biggest loser currently? STX Entertainment’s The Circle. Despite the presence of Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, the film has grossed a meager $15.7 million against a $18 million budget. (That’s not taking marketing into account either.) Not even the global numbers have been a major factor, only adding around $2.2 million. Lacking a worthwhile marketing campaign, STX will have to factor on home video release to make money back to lead to a potential profit.

We’ll update with the actual weekend figures tomorrow but, if there’s one fact to take away from the weekend, it’s that James Gunn off the leash and free to be as wildly creative as he desires results in boffo box office. (He’s a modern day Lucas, let’s face facts here.) Next week sees Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes … sorry, I mean King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the latest Amy Schumer vehicle Snatched release domestically. If I were a betting man? Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 easily repeats without breaking a sweat. Full box office results are below. And with that, have a great evening Fan Fest News readers!

1.) Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 – $145 million

2.) Fate of the Furious – $8.5 million

3.) The Boss Baby – $6.1 million

4.) How To Be A Latin Lover – $5.2 million

5.) Beauty and the Beast – $4.9 million

6.) The Circle – $4 million

7.) Baahubali 2: The Conclusion – $3.2 million

8.) Gifted – $2 million

9.) Going In Style – $1.9 million

10.) Smurfs; The Lost Village – $1.8 million

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