Guardians of the Galaxy's already eclipsing other films.
Variety's Brent Lang reports that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy’s already made $11.2 million on the Thursday, July 31, late night screenings, ahead of the official Friday, Aug 1, premiere. That's a full million above Captain America: The Winter Soldier's April opening and is on track to the he biggest August opening. Recouping the $170 million production budget should be an easy task.
New York Times writer Manohla Dargis described the movie as having "a pulse, wit, beauty and a real sensibility have been slipped into the fray, alongside the clockwork guffaws, kabooms and splats." That combination creates a film that excites all ages and all fans.
So who are these characters?
Hey, Joss, does that sound familiar? Especially since Peter Quill's "a heavily armed professional scavenger" with that band of crew. Sounds a lot like Firefly, except Guardians of the Galaxy hit comic shelves over 30 years before Captain Tightpants and the Serenity family even existed.
"Yee-Ha! Space Cowboy Rides to the Rescue" reminds audiences that the film was meant to be a little more classic monster flick, a la Roger Corman. "It’s perfect, then, Mr. Gunn, having started out working for Troma Entertainment, that gleeful purveyor of barrel-scraping trash, has been tapped by Marvel for its latest bid at box-office domination."
That key element of B-movie monsters sets the movie a part from the other MCU films because it's not meant to connect on such a serious note. The levity bring the entire movie to another level. Rocket the Raccoon (Cooper), Groot (Diesel), Gamora (Saldana), and Drax (Dave Bautista) are meant to be that mash-up of unexpected but somehow competent superheroes.
This isn't an Avengers film with Captain America or Iron Man saving the world…again. Thor's hammer isn't going to squash enemies like a bug. Yet somehow the movie still managed to earn a 92% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It's not about the billing names, even with Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper topping the marquee. Or James Gunn’s killer script and movie. It's everything combined: the sets, the CGI, characters, the dimension and direction.
According to "‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Soars to Biggest Thursday Box Office Opening of the Year," most predictions are for over $75 million, and for Guardians to blow past The Winter Soldier's $95 million. Given the fan excitement on Twitter and Facebook, two of the largest indicators, MCU fans seem to be on board.
I have never felt so emotional over a talking tree before. Groot is the best. #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy— Alice Hare (@HaresAndHallows) August 1, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy will open at 4,080 screens with almost 3,200 in 3D, earning the largest theater August premiere. Additionally, the movie will debut or has already debuted in 42 international territories including the United Kingdom and Ireland ($2.3 million), Russia ($3.5 million), South Korea, and South and Central American countries ($1.6 million).
Lang points out that in general, movie "ticket receipts are down 20% from last year." That's a lot of sales to compensate for but the action movie about a ragtag group of superheroes may just make a dent for studio. But Chris Pratt's looking to make Quill's transformation into Star-Lord a bonafide branding angle, like the Avengers.
Making the media rounds, he's discussed former shenanigans on the Parks and Recreation set—like Amy Poehler getting flashed, how his son's premature birth brought back his faith, and how he got ripped for the Guardians role.
What's really stood out, though, was his advice to young fans at a Monday screening of Guardians of the Galaxy cosponsored by New York Daily News and Marvel Studios.
"Take it from a kid who grew up having no money, and struggling hard to get by." Something the once homeless star knows about since living in his car at 19-years-old.
"Just know, if you stick to your path and you believe in yourself and you be courageous enough to be yourself, you can grow up [and] you can be your own Star-Lord.”
Powerful advice from the former Everwood star. Not only did he give advice, he stayed long after to take photos and talk to the fans—to give back. Playing Parks and Recreation's Andy Dwyer earned Pratt fame, but that's not what he's solely looking for now.
Pratt told the New York Daily News he's looking "to sort of embrace it and embrace the idea that I could be a positive role model for these youngsters," despite the new feeling for the 35-year-old.
With a starring role in the highly anticipated Jurassic World (2015), the brand spanking new action hero should have the chance to inspire young fans for quite awhile. Quill's the jump-off chance, but not the only opportunity.
Guardians of the Galaxy opened Friday, Aug 1. But listen to Groot. It's Marvel, after all.