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'Guardians of the Galaxy' stuns with a record setting opening weekend

'Guardians' sets a new August record
'Guardians' sets a new August record
Marvel Studios

Marvel has created yet another mega-franchise, as Guardians of the Galaxy opened to an amazing $94 million, the biggest August opener ever (the record had been held by The Bourne Ultimatum with $69 million). It's also the third biggest opening of the year, behind Transformers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and what it really shows is that as a brand, Marvel can sell just about anything. This was an obscure comic book property with no big name stars in it, and it still made nearly $100 million on its opening weekend. It was helped by great reviews (91% Rotten Tomatoes) and it got a terrific "A" Cinemascore, so it could make a play for the biggest movie of the year, which so far hasn't seen any film reach $250 million. But with no real competition for weeks ahead and great word of mouth, this might be the one.

Marvel creates a new franchise
Marvel Studios

The other new release this week was Get On Up, the well-reviewed James Brown biopic starring Chadwick Boseman (whose performance was highly praised and reportedly Oscar-worthy), but it only opened in third place to $14 million, lower than past August openers The Help and The Butler, so it could be considered a bit disappointing. It did get another "A" Cinemascore though, so it may be able to hold in the coming weeks. Last week's champ Lucy fell to No. 2, with a 60% drop, but has already earned $79 million and will easily cross $100 million for its star Scarlett Johansson (who now with her newly proven box office prowess, along with Marvel's capability to sell absolutely anything, should at least be given her own Black Widow movie, don't you think?). The rest of the top five was filled out by Hercules, which came in fourth with $10 million, and Dawn of the Apes in fifth with $8.7.

Top 5:

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy- $94 million
  2. Lucy- $18.3 million
  3. Get On Up- $14 million
  4. Hercules- $10.7 million
  5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes- $8.7 million

In limited release, A Most Wanted Man continued to do well, expanding to 700 screens and pulling in another $3.3 million, while Boyhood took in $2.5, bringing its total to $7.5 million as it continues its slow rollout. Magic in the Moonlight also did fairly well this weekend, earning another $700k for the Woody Allen comedy. Next week it's the big TMNT movie, which will have to compete with Guardians' word of mouth, plus Helen Mirren in The Hundred Foot Journey and the disaster flick Into the Storm (which seems like it's been advertizing for months now).