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Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana ring NYSE Opening Bell®

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As if to portend the rise of Marvel’s stock, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, the stars of the studio’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” opening this week, joined Marvel Entertainment executives to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday morning, July 29th. The ritual has become almost as traditional a way to promote major motion pictures as appearing on the morning and late night talk shows.

Marvels “Guardians of the Galaxy,” first appeared in comic books, albeit featuring different characters than those featured in the new movie, in “Marvel Super-Heroes,” Issue #18 (Jan. 1969). The Marvel Studios film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, with Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.

The official plot synopsis released by the studio is as follows:

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel cinematic universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy's fate in the balance.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” opens officially on Friday August 1st, however Thursday evening showings will abound on July 31st.