In the almost two weeks since it released on May 5, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 has already generated an estimated $246.2 million at the U.S. box office.
Just for context: it took the first Guardians a month — including four full weekends — to reach a similar domestic total in Aug. 2014.
It’s only been two weekends for Vol. 2 thus far, and the second weekend estimate of $63 million leaves Disney’s latest Marvel Studios venture in spitting distance of a quarter-billion dollar box office at home. Assuming the estimate holds, it should hit that milestone well before the two week release anniversary of May 19 rolls around.
Foreign audiences love Guardians 2 as well. The original Guardians ended its months-long overseas run with $440.2 million at the international box office. Vol. 2, which has been out for three weeks in various locations, already has earned an estimated $384.4 million.
The question now: does Guardians 2 have what it takes to become the fifth billion dollar movie for Marvel Studios? Both Avengers movies earned that distinction, as did Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Civil War.
And what is Marvel’s #5 performer on the worldwide box office charts? Guardians of the Galaxy, which ended its run with $773.3 million. Vol. 2 is certain to crack that figure, but a $1 billion box office might be out of reach given all the summer competition that soon will start to surface.
Before the end of May, Guardians will face off against Alien: Covenant, Baywatch, and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean adventure. Wonder Woman follows a week later, on June 2.
The first Guardians, on the other hand, released in early August of 2014, a time when summer blockbusters are traditionally winding down. It was considered a surprise success at the time, but its box office longevity had as much to do with the light post-August calendar for blockbusters as it did overall popularity.
That said, Guardians 2 already faced its first test this weekend with a pair of newcomers that had a shot at eating into its audience. The Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched opened at #2 with an estimated $17.5 million and fellow newcomer King Arthur: Legend of the Sword landed behind it at #3, with $14.7 million.
Neither Snatched nor King Arthur fared very well with critics, but that’s not always the best metric for box office performance. Just look at the ticket sales for any Transformers movie as proof.
Don’t bother trying to position Snatched as a counter-programming play; Schumer and Hawn together have broad, cross-gender appeal within a variety of age groups. The more likely explanation for both it and King Arthur falling short: lack of interest, coupled with competition from the hot, new Marvel blockbuster.
Alien should present a tougher test for Guardians next week, with its built-in audience and the geek appeal of director Ridley Scott returning for another Xenomorph-fueled sci-fi story.
All box office figures and estimates provided by comScore and Box Office Mojo.