A new ride at Disney’s California Adventure isn’t the only cause for a Guardians celebration this weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has now surpassed the first film, Guardians of the Galaxy, at the domestic and worldwide box office. All signs point to solid growth for the very young, very popular Marvel Studios franchise.
The first film earned $333.18 million in North America, en route to $773.33 million worldwide. GotG Vol. 2 now stands at $783.31 million worldwide, including $333.21 million domestic. GotG Vol. 2 has just completed its first month in global release and its fourth domestic weekend, so it’s going to put some distance between itself and its predecessor.
Audiences have embraced director James Gunn’s autobiographical sequel on a level very similar to the first film. Both Guardians movies earned “A” ratings from CinemaScore and had nearly identical second weekend holds in North America. The first film only dropped 55.3% and the second dropped only a bit more at 55.5%.
The competition in May is supposed to be tougher than what the first film saw as an August release in 2014, but a streak of underperforming studio blockbusters has allowed GotG Vol. 2‘s box office momentum to continue unimpeded. Audiences have shown that they would rather go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 a second or third time instead of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Alien: Covenant, Baywatch, or even Disney’s own Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Alien and Pirates may have topped the box office in their opening weekends, but neither reached their initial tracking while GotG Vol. 2 continued to beat forecasts.
The box office gets even more crowded next weekend with WB/DC’s Wonder Woman, which is going to perform very well, so it’s great that GotG Vol. 2 has already surpassed the first film. Now it’s just a matter of how much more the sequel will earn over its predecessor. Even with a new comic book movie at the multiplex next weekend, and a slew of other blockbusters that will follow in the coming weeks, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and company are sure to continue expanding the reach and earning potential of the franchise many (not including me) believed could be Marvel Studios’ first flop just three years ago.