In 2014, we made our introductions with Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket. The characters in Guardians of the Galaxy were totally bizarre, but obviously they made a good impression. Today marks the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and so far, the outlook is stellar.
In fact, in a rare turn for a sequel, it’s passing up the first Guardians of the Galaxy flick at the box office. Thursday night, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened to $17 million, which is the highest preview night of the year so far. The newest Marvel film is expecting to bring in between $55 and $60 million today, with a weekend total of $125 to $130 million.
On the other hand, Volume 1 made $94.3 million in its opening weekend. That means Volume 2 is expecting a 27% increase in its opening weekend box office compared to Volume 1. It’s almost a given that sequels draw less money than originals at the box office, so this is a testament to how much of an impression the Guardians of the Galaxy made the first time around.
But This Is Marvel We’re Talking About
In fact, unlike most franchises, somehow Marvel has been able to continuously build hype around their projects rather than letting it diminish. For example, the first Thor movie earned $449 million worldwide. Despite being not that great, the follow-up Thor: The Dark World earned $644 million. Now, the upcoming third installment Thor: Ragnarok is the most highly anticipated film in the franchise.
It helps that critics are digging Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2–it’s not just the fans who are loving it. Right now, the movie has an 84% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Some critics are saying it feels a bit too familiar, but these are characters fans have grown to love, so a bit of familiarity isn’t the worst thing in the world.