Everybody’s favourite space A-Holes are sitting at the top of the US box office. James Gunn’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy Vol.2 took an estimated $145 million over its opening weekend.
Pulling off a solid second entry in a Marvel franchise has proved a difficult thing for the mighty studio to accomplish. Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World and even Avengers Age of Ultron were not as well received as their respective predecessors. So far, only Captain America’s sequel The Winter Soldier has aced it, and now the Guardians can stand proudly alongside Cap. I won’t pretend that Vol.2 is without flaws, but I can’t ignore that it was exceedingly entertaining and Kurt Russell is freaking awesome. While it’s a shame there wasn’t room for fellow space set hero Thor to pop up, I’m kind of glad Gunn avoided pandering to fans like me.
Now, let’s talk turkey. The first Guardians managed a $94 million opening weekend back in 2014, so a $51 million increase can be considered a win. Of all the Marvel movies, Guardians of the Galaxy was the biggest risk since Downey Jr swaggered onto our screens as Tony Stark. The Guardians characters were not as well known as Iron Man, Captain America or Thor, but Marvel proved it was the brand that counted. I think a big part of the success is squarely down to James Gunn, but I would dearly love to see him make a non-Marvel project next.
Other noteworthy milestones reached this week, Fast and Furious 8 has taken more than $200 million in the US and has a current global tally of almost $1.2 billion. It will come as no surprise to learn that Universal are fast-tracking a Hobbs and Shaw spin-off that will reunite Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.