'Guardians of the Galaxy' takes aim at August box office record, challenged by 'Get On Up'

By Daniel S Levine,

There’s no question that Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy is going to top the box office this weekend. The only question is how big the debut for a movie that features no widely-known superheroes will be.

Guardians at least has a well-known cast of actors at the front, with Zoe Saldana, along with the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. Chris Pratt will also get to prove his abilities as an action hero, which Universal will be keen to keep an eye on, since he fronts next year’s Jurassic World.

Since the characters aren’t well-known, Disney’s marketing machine has done a lot of work to fix that, introducing the characters in each trailer and TV spot for the films. They have also made sure that people are aware that it is a Marvel movie, with a lot of fun thrown in.

The movie is directed by James Gunn, best known for the acclaimed indie Super. Critics have loved it so far, pushing it to a 91 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Box Office Mojo is predicting an $82 million opening. That sounds about right, since it is opening in an August record 4,080 locations.

Lucy with Scarlett Johansson should stick around for another week. Entertainment Weekly notes that if it falls 50 percent, that’s still $20 million.

Get On Up, which features Chadwick Boseman as James Brown, is expected to open with around $15 million. Universal has released it to 2,466 locations, but some lukewarm reviews might hurt it.

Finally, Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules should make a huge drop, hitting $14 million in its second week.

image courtesy of Peter West/ACE/INFphoto.com

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