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Disney can put away any worries that audiences wouldn’t want to see a Marvel movie without Captain America, Iron Man or Thor. Moviegoers flocked in huge numbers last night to see Guardians of the Galaxy, giving it the best early opening of the year.
Guardians, directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, opened with $11.2 million last night. That even beats Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s $10.2 million early opening, notes The Hollywood Reporter.
The goal for Guardians is crashing the August debut record, previously set by The Bourne Ultimatum’s $69.2 million launch. Analysts predict that it will break that easily, making at least $80 million.
The Thursday night numbers show that the film is right on track. It is playing in 4,080 theaters, the widest opening in August in history. TheWrap reports that $1.9 million of the Thursday night numbers came from IMAX screenings.
Godzilla had the previous summer Thursday high, making $9.3 million, on its way to a $93.1 million. Suddenly, $90 million looks possible for Guardians.
Unfortunately for Disney and Marvel, Guardians was a very expensive project. It cost the studio $170 million to make, and that’s before marketing costs are included. However, the film has earned $11 million from overseas territories already, so the foreign box office should help out.
image of Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan courtesy of Famous/ACE/INFphoto