Only days ago, projections about the opening weekend numbers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had it underperforming compared to 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, though Thursday night preview numbers confirm that the latest outing scored the best numbers in the series, taking in a reported $17.5 million, per TheWrap. This gives it a slight edge over Vol. 2, which took in $17 million in Thursday night numbers. Despite featuring a rag-tag group of heroes, the Guardians films have all had surprising openings, with the debut film taking in $94.3 million domestically, despite focusing on lesser-known characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently on track to take in anywhere between $110 and $130 million domestically, which would still put it below Vol. 2‘s opening weekend of $146.5 million. As the weekend progresses, there are several factors that could impact how Vol. 3 performs.
Working in the film’s favor is that it has positive reviews, as it currently sits at 80% positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania only earning 47% positive reviews and last year’s Thor: Love and Thunder sitting at 63% positive reviews, fans could either be apprehensive about this latest outing or more intrigued by the early praise.
Another factor potentially impacting the film is that, with so many Marvel Cinematic Universe adventures coming in threes, this entry could signal the end of the Guardians series, even if the characters appear in team-up pictures in the future, so this chapter being the last iteration of this roster of heroes could draw in audiences. Even if this might not be the official end of the series, though, it is surely the end of writer/director James Gunn’s time with the MCU, as he is confirmed to be jumping over to Warner Bros. to spearhead their various DC projects. Regardless of audiences’ opinions on Gunn, seeing his sendoff could be appealing to viewers.
Potentially scaring off viewers, however, is that this is the longest Guardians adventure in the trilogy, sitting with a run time of two hours and 29 minutes. While the run time might not have a significant impact on screenings, it could be enough to prevent fans from heading to the theater when they know that it will only be a few more months before the movie debuts on Disney+ and they can enjoy it from the comfort of their own homes.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in theaters now.
Will you be checking out the film this weekend? Let us know in the comments!