The first (and probably only) comic book movie to utilize a soundtrack full of corny 70s tunes found its audience this weekend. Did it ever find an audience this weekend. Heading into Thursday, Guardians of the Galaxy was tracking to do between $60 and $70 million, but after scoring the Thursday night record for 2014, pulling in $11.2 million. That sum is even higher than the year’s current highest grossing film, along with fellow Marvel movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Estimates continue to vacillate, but Guardians will open north of $90 million–an opening that blows away both Thor movies, the first Captain America movie, and even gives the first Iron Man a run for its money. The film is expected to fall somewhere in the neighborhood of $92.2 to $95.6 million for the weekend, an absolutely astonishing figure considering that these characters were an unknown commodity until now–and the film’s two biggest stars are Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, who don’t even appear on screen. (And that’s not even one of our 10 Things Guys Need To Know About Guardians of the Galaxy.)
Chris Pratt is having the best year ever in 2014, scoring the lead role of Emmit in the smash hit The LEGO Movie, and now he’s garnering comparisons to Harrison Ford in the first Star Wars film for his performance as the roguish Star Lord. This is a real Star-Is-Born moment. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy, either–especially after hearing the story about him surprising a group of kids at an advanced screening, and then hanging out for five hours to sign autographs for every last one of them.
With an audience score of an A according to Cinema Score, and a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, expect these new comic book heroes to stay atop the charts for the rest of the month, and let’s also hear it for risky comic book movies paying off in a big way. This bodes very well for the future of risky properties.