So Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Is a Box Office Success… But Is It Also a Disappointment?

So Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is out and people have been flocking to it in droves, making it head towards the $1 billion gross milestone. Certainly a nice amount more than the previous film’s $773 million worldwide.

Opening domestically in the US after the overseas release, the domestic market got an estimated $145 million opening weekend. This is certainly good news for Marvel and Disney since this equates to 80% of the money hauled in from the top movies that weekend, relegating the money-making Fast and Furious 8 to second place, with Boss Baby in 3rd. All in all making Guardians 2 the 6th best opening for any May movie. May is soon becoming a big month for movie releases, many experts and analysts suggesting that this is the start of a ‘summer movie binging’ season.

Since the first one was such a surprise hit, anticipation was high for this sequel, especially for the people predicting how much money it would make. It’s these people who are largely quite disappointed. Although Guardians 2 has undoubtedly done well, it hasn’t quite emulated their hopes and predictions. They planned on it opening with approximately $150 million, or even $160 million, on it’s opening weekend.

So why was this? There are a variety of reasons, but there’s nothing overly concrete. It’s difficult to say. It’s reasonable to predict that after the success of the last one and the word of mouth that made it so popular that this one would garner more than the predecessor’s $773 million worldwide. It also opened to the same amount of screens as The Avengers, including IMAX screens which count for a lot, which grossed a $207.4 million debut on its opening weekend – the best for Marvel and the third biggest opening weekend ever.

It’s estimated that 28% of the audience were families or teens and 40% were under 25. This leaves a large chunk of the audience that are not the young viewers that are often stereotyped as the main contribution to a comic book movie’s box office gross. It may be the older viewers who were the ones that were more influential when it comes to word of mouth, one of the factors that made the last one so popular and successful.

My main theory however is that the cinema is simply too expensive nowadays. Guardians opens quite soon after the release of Beauty and the Beast and Fast and Furious 8, both two huge blockbusters that grossed a lot of money worldwide and did very well. It could simply be that the cinema is too expensive for people to go so often and so are put off going three times in around 2 months or under. Personally this doesn’t affect me as I’m a Cineworld Unlimited member, allowing me to see as many films as I like – all I have to do is pay a monthly fee equivalent to just under the price of two movies (so if I see at least two a month, I’m saving money). Perhaps were cinemas to lower their prices, everyone might make more money…

After it’s overseas release and it’s US domestic release, it accumulated approximately $427.6 million. This is still a definite improvement over previous Marvel sequels, such as Iron Man 2, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World, having a 54% increase over its first film, more than any of those other sequels. So it’s certainly not done badly. On the contrary it’s done well, but not necessarily as well as experts had predicted. Perhaps in the future executives may need to rethink their strategy. Maybe scheduling might become more complicated, maybe tickets will go down in price (unlikely)… Or maybe, most likely, nothing will happen. It’s still interesting to note how ambitious Marvel are in their box office predictions however, and how they’re determined to do as well as possible. What’s for sure though is that they’re a big brand name with a notable track record of doing very well. This only makes geeks like me even more excited for the upcoming Avengers films – these are the most likely to meet all of their expectations; it will have everything, especially a huge opening.

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