Weekend Actuals: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Earns a Galactic $146.5M Opening

Monday Update: Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sprouted like a baby tree this weekend, with a huge $145.6 million opening to jumpstart the summer movie season. That represented an impressive 55.3 percent improvement above its predecessor’s August 2014 debut.

With no other wide release competitors, Guardians earned a massive 78.5 percent of the top 12 films’ total, ranking as the 6th-highest percentage ever for a weekend leader. The movie also posted the second-highest theater count for a film in the past four years behind only last summer’s The Secret Life of Pets, and 11th-highest theater count of all time at 4,347 screens nationwide.

Disney closed their second place gap considerably with Universal this weekend in the race to become the highest earning studio domestically of 2017. Now only $46.4 million million behind, Disney appears poised to claim the year-to-date lead over Universal sometime later this month if current trends continue.

The table of full weekend actuals appears at bottom. Fuller analysis and numbers appear in our Sunday update of studio weekend estimate below.


Sunday Update: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Baby Groot couldn’t be stopped this weekend, as Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 improved considerably over its predecessor with an estimated $145.0 million debut.

The comedic superhero sequel starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana as leaders of a wisecracking alien-fighting team starts 53.7 percent above the $94.3 million opening of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. The original was a surprise smash hit and became one of the most beloved films of the entire decade, with its 3.53 cumulative-to-opening multiple — a reflection of positive word of mouth rather than pre-release hype — ranking the highest of any Marvel superhero film. The new installment notches the #17 opening weekend ever, or #26 adjusted for ticket price inflation.

This is great news for Disney, which continues its streak of $100+ million openers, the studio having posted the industry’s most recent three with Guardians, March’s Beauty and the Beast, and December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Disney has also posted six of the industry’s eight most recent $100+ million openings.

Universal has been the highest grossing studio domestically for virtually all of 2017, in large part due to their wide set of early-release hit films in the calendar including Get OutThe Fate of the FuriousSplitFifty Shades Darker, and late December holdover Sing. In one fell swoop, Disney closes the gap from approximately $190 million behind Universal on the year to about $50 million. Disney will likely overtake Universal to become the highest-grossing studio this year — a title they captured by a wide margin in 2016 — later this month.

So, how was this huge opening engineered? “It starts with how consistent the team at Marvel Studios has been. A $11.5 billion total gross since 2008 is total indicator of how much impact the brand has had on moviegoing,” Disney’s Executive Vice President of Distribution Dave Hollis tells Boxoffice in an interview. “High quality storytelling with great characters really sets the table for a result like this. The ‘A’ Cinemascore and Rotten Tomatoes score up in the 80s, plus the international marketplace starting in a very very good way last week, creates great reception and positive word of mouth.”

If there’s anything negative to nitpick about Guardians’ opening, it’s that several other Marvel films have opened higher. Marvel traditionally schedules a release on the first weekend of May, something they’ve done every year since 2007. Four of the previous five such releases opened above Guardians 2, which comes in 19.0 percent below Captain America: Civil War, 24.1 percent behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, 16.7 percent below Iron Man 3, and 30.0 percent behind The Avengers.

Hollis from Disney warns that such comparisons may not be the most fitting benchmarks. “I would caution against using the Avengers films. This doesn’t have Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man like Civil War did,” Hollis tells Boxoffice. “I’d look at it as outperforming the second Iron Man, second Captain America, second Thor. It’s even opened above our own Finding Dory, one of the most storied sequels we’ve ever released.” Indeed, Guardians 2 debuts 13.2 percent above Iron Man 2, 52.6 percent above Captain America: The Winter Soldier (although that was an April release), 69.1 percent above Thor: The Dark World, and 7.3 percent above last summer’s Finding Dory.

The audience for Guardians 2 was 56 percent male and 40 percent under age 25, a bit low for the youth-driven superhero genre. It started with an estimated $56.2 million on Friday — including $17.0 million in Thursday night previews, the best Thursday night launch of 2017 thus far, It then declined an estimated 9.1 percent on Saturday to $51.1 million, quite mild for a blockbuster, and is projected to fall a further 26.2 percent on Sunday to $37.6 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.57 to 1.

How will the film fare from here on out? A 3.53 multiple like its predecessor is almost certainly out of reach given the more front-loaded nature of sequels. “I really like the competitive aspect against which we opened. The top 10 on Thursday only had about $4 million total. Guardians is the primary choice for this week, and we like the marketplace for the next few weekends,” Hollis tells Boxoffice. “What we’re already witnessing as word of mouth, with the 11th biggest Saturday in the history of business.”

With other new wide debuts, second place at the box office was the leader for the previous three weekends, Universal’s The Fate of the Furious, which fell an estimated 57.2 percent to $8.5 million. The film is running quite a bit behind its predecessor Furious 7 and also a bit behind previous installment Fast & Furious 6 through the same point. Fox’s animated The Boss Baby rose from fourth place last weekend to third this weekend, with a milder estimated 34.1 percent decline to $6.1 million.

The top 10 films this weekend earned an estimated $182.9 million total. That’s more than double the $80.7 million earned by the top 10 last weekend. It’s also 88.7 percent above the $96.9 million earned by the top 10 on this weekend last year, when The Jungle Book led for the third straight frame with $43.7 million. And it’s 21.2 percent below the $232.3 million earned by the top 10 on the first weekend of May last year, when Captain America: Civil War led with $179.1 million.

Overseas Update:

The news overseas was all Guardians, just as it was domestically. After opening early in many foreign markets last weekend, Guardians improved 22.3 percent to $123.8 million overseas in 55 markets. The film has earned 66.1 percent of its earning from overseas, as 41 percent for Guardians has come from 3D ticket sales, led by 99 percent in China. The film’s overseas earnings are led by $48.0 million in China and $35.7 million in the United Kingdom.


Monday’s Weekend Actuals for Friday, May 5 – Sunday, May 7, 2017:

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $146,510,104 4,347 $33,704 $146,510,104 1 Disney
2 The Fate of the Furious $8,577,175 -57% 3,595 -482 $2,386 $207,184,705 4 Universal
3 The Boss Baby $5,976,818 -36% 3,284 -455 $1,820 $156,537,343 6 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4 How to Be A Latin Lover $5,144,904 -58% 1,203 85 $4,277 $20,548,224 2 Lionsgate / Pantelion
5 Beauty and the Beast $5,087,749 -25% 2,680 -475 $1,898 $487,739,364 8 Disney
6 The Circle $3,959,045 -56% 3,163 0 $1,252 $15,654,158 2 STX Entertainment
7 Gifted $2,024,001 -40% 1,874 -341 $1,080 $19,209,332 5 Fox Searchlight
8 Smurfs: The Lost Village $1,838,424 -48% 1,902 -652 $967 $40,588,998 5 Sony / Columbia
9 Going in Style $1,835,383 -49% 2,033 -728 $903 $40,536,301 5 Warner Bros. / New Line
10 Born in China $1,219,025 -49% 1,414 -94 $862 $10,942,936 3 Disneynature
11 Unforgettable $670,067 -72% 1,003 -1414 $668 $10,630,178 3 Warner Bros.

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Baahubali 2: The Conclusion $3,394,061 -67% 419 -6 $8,100 $16,330,025 2 Great India Films
2 The Lost City of Z $1,035,875 -43% 815 -51 $1,271 $6,632,068 4 Amazon Studios / Bleecker Street
3 Sleight $768,005 -55% 591 26 $1,300 $3,001,200 2 High Top Releasing
4 Get Out $711,155 -58% 818 -745 $869 $173,836,140 11 Universal
5 The Dinner $655,493 505 $1,298 $655,493 1 The Orchard
6 The Zookeeper’s Wife $528,500 -47% 655 -342 $807 $15,796,661 6 Focus Features
7 Kong: Skull Island $507,959 -55% 653 -280 $778 $166,300,039 9 Warner Bros.
8 Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer $447,438 96% 125 78 $3,580 $1,061,025 4 Sony Pictures Classics
9 Their Finest $411,190 -20% 323 -7 $1,273 $2,444,317 5 STX Entertainment
10 The Case For Christ $388,432 -61% 585 -465 $664 $13,872,143 5 Pure Flix
11 Logan $327,887 -57% 444 -170 $738 $225,078,088 10 Fox
12 The Promise $278,205 -81% 331 -1920 $840 $7,968,276 3 Open Road
13 Power Rangers $227,436 -73% 512 -377 $444 $84,654,539 7 Lionsgate
14 Colossal $200,060 -62% 250 -77 $800 $2,500,487 5 Neon
15 The LEGO Batman Movie $185,114 -39% 235 -38 $788 $174,932,902 13 Warner Bros.
16 Phoenix Forgotten $128,927 -83% 186 -1277 $693 $3,450,303 3 Cinelou Films
17 Ghost in the Shell $115,571 -74% 211 -245 $548 $40,252,290 6 Paramount / DreamWorks
18 The Shack $80,654 -55% 178 -107 $453 $57,161,785 10 Lionsgate / Summit
19 Life (2017) $63,548 -79% 132 -371 $481 $30,001,060 7 Sony / Columbia
20 CHiPs $63,396 -48% 146 -58 $434 $18,463,483 7 Warner Bros.
21 Hidden Figures $58,584 -32% 113 -11 $518 $169,085,266 20 Fox
22 A Dog’s Purpose $54,745 -26% 103 -20 $532 $64,304,940 15 Universal

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 A Quiet Passion $160,346 58% 84 40 $1,909 $492,280 4 Music Box Films
2 This Is Not What I Expected $135,252 36 $3,757 $135,252 1 Well Go USA
3 Battle of Memories $97,576 -57% 40 -2 $2,439 $434,278 2 China Lion Film
4 Your Name. $89,864 -57% 74 -49 $1,214 $4,676,810 5 FUNimation Entertainment
5 Risk $76,327 34 $2,245 $76,327 1 Neon
6 The Lovers $66,286 4 $16,572 $66,286 1 A24
7 Citizen Jane: Battle for the City $39,454 39% 20 14 $1,973 $131,311 3 IFC Films
8 Chuck $34,565 4 $8,641 $34,565 1 IFC Films
9 Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent $27,854 -22% 28 12 $995 $110,882 3 The Orchard
10 Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary $27,322 -18% 17 1 $1,607 $150,369 4 Abramorama
11 The Belko Experiment $26,250 -41% 69 -14 $380 $9,742,140 8 BH Tilt
12 T2: Trainspotting $22,886 -37% 45 -22 $509 $2,335,346 10 Sony
13 KEDi $22,122 -38% 30 -9 $737 $2,565,602 13 Oscilloscope Laboratories
14 Stalker $20,540 1 $20,540 $20,540 1 Janus
15 The King’s Case Note $19,328 128% 6 4 $3,221 $31,487 2 CJ Entertainment
16 Tommy’s Honour $18,813 -54% 35 -25 $538 $533,343 4 Roadside Attractions
17 3 Generations $18,131 6 $3,022 $18,131 1 Weinstein Company
18 Graduation $15,703 -54% 26 -10 $604 $140,976 5 IFC Films / Sundance Selects
19 Obit. $15,411 -5% 3 1 $5,137 $56,398 2 Kino Lorber
20 Buster Mal’s Heart $15,349 115% 10 9 $1,535 $24,655 2 Well Go USA
21 David Lynch: The Art Life $15,040 4% 8 3 $1,880 $118,296 6 Janus
22 Truman $13,474 -41% 14 -8 $962 $163,568 5 Filmrise
23 I am Not Your Negro $12,321 -41% 10 -8 $1,232 $7,081,730 14 Magnolia Pictures
24 A Woman’s Life $11,483 2 $5,742 $11,483 1 Kino Lorber Films
25 Frantz $11,065 -69% 23 -22 $481 $836,624 8 Music Box Films
26 Cezanne and I $10,552 -46% 14 -7 $754 $214,760 6 Magnolia Pictures
27 The Mayor $10,401 -78% 7 -22 $1,486 $83,849 2 Well Go USA
28 My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea $8,234 -5% 21 -4 $392 $57,339 4 GKIDS
29 Free Fire $7,565 -97% 36 -781 $210 $1,789,379 3 A24
30 Personal Shopper $5,924 -67% 7 -13 $846 $1,277,411 9 IFC Films
31 Like Crazy $5,799 2 $2,900 $5,799 1 Strand Releasing
32 Bang! The Bert Berns Story $5,258 34% 2 1 $2,629 $16,725 2 Abramorama
33 The Last Word $4,892 -64% 28 -25 $175 $1,774,326 10 Bleeker Street
34 Panique (2017 Restoration) $3,727 1 $3,727 $37,234 16 Rialto Pictures
35 Burden $3,231 2 $1,616 $3,231 1 Magnolia Pictures
36 Mr. Chibbs $3,163 1 $3,163 $7,043 1 Abramorama
37 Land of Mine $2,876 -43% 10 -5 $288 $429,191 13 Sony Pictures Classics
38 After the Storm $2,791 23% 7 -1 $399 $241,276 8 Film Movement
39 A United Kingdom $2,738 -73% 11 -9 $249 $3,887,853 13 Fox Searchlight
40 One Week and a Day $2,627 -62% 3 0 $876 $12,639 2 Oscilloscope
41 Take Me $2,583 2 $1,292 $2,583 1 The Orchard
42 Finding Oscar $2,432 -61% 4 -12 $608 $21,246 4 FilmRise
43 Seven Beauties (1975) $2,179 52% 2 1 $1,090 $7,519 4 Kino Lorber
44 The Death of Louis XIV $2,150 7% 6 3 $358 $26,617 6 Cinema Guild
45 The Red Turtle $2,043 -37% 6 -1 $341 $915,851 16 Sony Pictures Classics
46 Toni Erdmann $1,865 -49% 3 -5 $622 $1,476,440 20 Sony Pictures Classics
47 Slack Bay $1,791 -68% 2 -2 $896 $37,602 3 Kino Lorber Films
48 Alive and Kicking $998 66% 5 2 $200 $41,330 5 Magnolia Pictures
49 A Woman, A Part $736 3 $245 $22,896 7 Strand Releasing
50 The Eagle Huntress $680 -37% 3 -1 $227 $3,168,664 27 Sony Pictures Classics
51 Neruda $497 -79% 2 -4 $249 $938,875 21 The Orchard
52 All These Sleepless Nights $409 -47% 2 -3 $205 $20,342 5 The Orchard
53 Swept Away (1974) $351 -52% 1 0 $351 $4,164 4 Kino Lorber
54 Behind the White Glasses $255 1 $255 $1,671 3 Kino Lorber
55 The Transfiguration $194 -90% 2 -5 $97 $17,221 5 Strand Releasing
56 Glory $143 1 $143 $10,688 4 Film Movement
57 The Levelling $120 216% 2 1 $60 $3,040 7 Monterey Media
58 Donald Cried $60 -61% 1 0 $60 $61,033 10 The Orchard

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, May 5 – Sunday, May 7, 2017:

 

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $145,049,000 4,347 $33,368 $145,049,000 1 Disney
2 The Fate of the Furious $8,528,965 -57% 3,595 -482 $2,372 $207,136,495 4 Universal
3 The Boss Baby $6,175,000 -34% 3,284 -455 $1,880 $156,735,525 6 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4 How to Be A Latin Lover $5,250,000 -57% 1,203 85 $4,364 $20,653,320 2 Lionsgate / Pantelion
5 Beauty and the Beast $4,943,000 -28% 2,680 -475 $1,844 $487,594,615 8 Disney
6 The Circle $4,020,000 -56% 3,163 0 $1,271 $15,715,113 2 STX Entertainment
7 Gifted $2,055,000 -39% 1,874 -341 $1,097 $19,240,331 5 Fox Searchlight
8 Going in Style $1,900,000 -47% 2,033 -728 $935 $40,600,918 5 Warner Bros. / New Line
9 Smurfs: The Lost Village $1,820,000 -49% 1,902 -652 $957 $40,570,574 5 Sony / Columbia
10 Born in China $1,210,000 -49% 1,414 -94 $856 $10,933,911 3 Disneynature
11 Unforgettable $665,000 -72% 1,003 -1414 $663 $10,625,111 3 Warner Bros.

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Baahubali 2: The Conclusion $3,242,532 -69% 418 -7 $7,757 $16,175,528 2 Great India Films
2 The Lost City of Z $1,062,276 -41% 815 -51 $1,303 $6,658,469 4 Amazon Studios / Bleecker Street
3 The Dinner $755,348 505 $1,496 $755,348 1 The Orchard
4 Sleight $743,410 -56% 591 26 $1,258 $2,976,605 2 High Top Releasing
5 Get Out $720,525 -58% 818 -745 $881 $173,845,510 11 Universal
6 The Zookeeper’s Wife $539,715 -46% 655 -342 $824 $15,807,876 6 Focus Features
7 Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer $481,467 111% 125 78 $3,852 $1,095,054 4 Sony Pictures Classics
8 Their Finest $420,000 -18% 323 -7 $1,300 $2,453,127 5 STX Entertainment
9 The Case For Christ $390,000 -61% 585 -465 $667 $13,873,711 5 Pure Flix
10 Logan $330,000 -57% 444 -170 $743 $225,080,201 10 Fox
11 The Promise $266,123 -82% 331 -1920 $804 $7,956,194 3 Open Road
12 Power Rangers $230,000 -73% 512 -377 $449 $84,657,103 7 Lionsgate
13 Colossal $200,200 -62% 242 -85 $827 $2,500,627 5 Neon
14 Ghost in the Shell $110,000 -75% 211 -245 $521 $40,246,719 6 Paramount / DreamWorks
15 The Shack $80,000 -55% 178 -107 $449 $57,161,131 10 Lionsgate / Summit
16 Hidden Figures $62,000 -28% 113 -11 $549 $169,088,682 20 Fox
17 A Dog’s Purpose $50,080 -32% 103 -20 $486 $64,300,275 15 Universal

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 A Quiet Passion $331,934 228% 79 35 $4,202 $663,868 4 Music Box Films
2 Battle of Memories $90,000 -60% 40 -2 $2,250 $426,702 2 China Lion Film
3 Risk $75,179 34 $2,211 $75,179 1 Neon
4 The Lovers $70,410 4 $17,603 $70,410 1 A24
5 Citizen Jane: Battle for the City $44,000 55% 22 16 $2,000 $135,857 3 IFC Films
6 Chuck $40,416 4 $10,104 $40,416 1 IFC Films
7 Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent $28,168 -21% 27 11 $1,043 $111,196 3 The Orchard
8 Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary $27,715 -17% 17 1 $1,630 $150,762 4 Abramorama
9 The Belko Experiment $24,830 -44% 69 -14 $360 $9,740,720 8 BH Tilt
10 3 Generations $20,118 6 $3,353 $20,118 1 Weinstein Company
11 Stalker $19,785 1 $19,785 $19,785 1 Janus
12 Tommy’s Honour $18,825 -54% 35 -25 $538 $533,355 4 Roadside Attractions
13 Frantz $13,064 -64% 20 -25 $653 $838,623 8 Music Box Films
14 Truman $12,000 -47% 14 -8 $857 $162,025 5 Filmrise
15 Bang! The Bert Berns Story $4,830 23% 2 1 $2,415 $16,297 2 Abramorama
16 Mr. Chibbs $3,640 1 $3,640 $7,520 1 Abramorama
17 Take Me $3,258 2 $1,629 $3,258 1 The Orchard
18 Finding Oscar $2,500 -60% 4 -12 $625 $21,314 4 FilmRise
19 Donald Cried $810 433% 1 0 $810 $61,783 10 The Orchard
20 Neruda $570 -76% 2 -4 $285 $938,948 21 The Orchard
21 All These Sleepless Nights $469 -39% 2 -3 $235 $20,402 5 The Orchard
Jesse Rifkin

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