Already having bagged a huge $106 million in its overseas opening this past weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is looking to shake up the box office business in the U.S. and Canada this coming weekend. Tracking for a while indicated a $150M bow, but given the Marvel sequel’s momentum overseas, one stateside exhibition chief told us recently, “I’d bet well over that mark.”
Since April 24 on Fandango, Guardians 2 has been the No. 1 ticket seller every day and already is outstripping at this point advance sales of Marvel’s 2015 sequel Avengers: Age Of Ultron. That Marvel sequel stands as the fourth-best domestic opening of all-time with $191.3M, after Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.9M, 2015), Jurassic World ($208.8M, 2015), and Marvel’s The Avengers ($207.4M, 2012). The first Guardians opened to $94.3M in August 2014 and stands as that month’s highest-grossing movie of all time with $333.1M stateside.
Unaided awareness, a tracking indicator that shows the strength of a movie’s awareness without being prompted by a pollster, is through the roof for GOTG2 with 42% overall awareness. Men over 25 are showing the strongest interest in GOTG2 (44%) followed by men under 25 (43%) and women under 25 and over 25 (both at 40%).
In a recent Fandango survey, those polled revealed that 79% saw the first GOTG on the big screen; 74% are excited to see the sequel’s greater emphasis on stronger female action heroes; and 62% say Kurt Russell as Chris Pratt’s dad increases their interest in seeing GOTG2. Another nugget: 97% plan to stick around after the movie ends to watch all five post-credits scenes.
“Its popularity has grown exponentially since the first Guardians Of The Galaxy surprised audiences as a monster hit,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis about the sequel. “The series’ visual inventiveness, coupled with the addition of Baby Groot and another fantastic soundtrack in Vol. 2, is fueling even more excitement as Marvel Studios looks to kick off the summer movie season in a massive way.”