Guardians of the Galaxy Tops the Box Office

guardians“Guardians of the Galaxy” has left some in shock this weekend as it brought in approximately $94 million to top the weekend box office. The Marvel Studios’ adventure stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, together they lead a band of rebels on an intergalactic journey.

Before the movie premiered on Friday, analysts had estimated that the film would earn around $60-$75 million in North America.

This better than expected launch lets the comic book adaptation open August with a big opening and breaks the record for biggest August opened for a film. Previously the record was $69.2 million and help by the 2007 release of “The Bourne Ultimatum.” It also makes for the third highest opening week of 2014. “Guardians” has only been beat by the $95 million opening of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and the $100 million opening of “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

The film also features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, who play the computer generated characters of Rocket Raccoon and Groot.

Originally, the film was consider pretty risky for Marvel and the distributor of “Guardians” Walt Disney Co, because it is set almost entirely in outer space and features some pretty obscure characters from the Marvel universe.

But despite the apprehension, Marvel was hoping that the James Gunn piece would prove to be a blockbuster. The studio already announced a sequel at Comic-Con in San Diego last month. The sequel is set for release in 2017. The next films from the Marvel world will be the next installment of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man” to star Paul Rudd. Both movies are set for release in 2015.

Marvel’s comic book adaptations have dominated the box office in 2014, from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” to “X-Men: Days of Future Past” to the already mentioned “Captain American: The Winter Soldier.” Each movie topped the box office. Many industry analysts think that Marvel is on an unstoppable role.

Paud Dergarabedian with Rentrak, said “This is a brand that transcends any character within their universe. The mere mention of the name Marvel is enough to get people into the movie theater. That’s somewhat rare. Pixar obviously has a similar cachet, but for Marvel to have four films this year open with over $90 million is amazing. It’s unprecedented success.”

Also in the running for box office was the distant second “Lucy” that features Scarlett Johansson as a woman with powers of the mind, which brought in $18.3 million on its second weekend and a total domestic take of $80 million so far.  Third place goes to the James Brown biopic “Get on Up” which opened with $14 million.

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