Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened this weekend in North America, and the results are as one would expect: money pouring into Mickey Mouse’s pocket.  Disney and Marvel Studios scored the fifth biggest opening weekend in MCU history, trailing behind only AvengersAvengers: Age of UltronIron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War.

There are a couple of ways to bring this result into context, for those staring at all the digits and feeling dizzy.  First of all, it is about 55% above the return of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film.  At the time analysts were absolutely astonished at Marvel’s success with an unknown IP.  To take that success and add another $50 million is a big jump.  Its percentage increase trails only that from Winter Soldier to Civil War, where the Avengers 2.5 syndrome helped immensely.  Internationally Guradians Vol. 2 is also outperforming its predecessor in most territories, and even outperforming the four-film billion dollar club mentioned above.  Right now the overall global take sits at $431.5 million.

When a studio makes that much money, with a talking raccoon, it is a big success.  The flip side, however, is that these numbers suggest a billion dollar overall gross is not guaranteed.  Every film that has made more than this on its opening weekend blasted on to $1.1 billion or more.  Every film-making less fell short of the ten-figure threshold.  Regardless, it now looks likely this will be Marvel’s worst May result since 2011.  That sounds worse than it should, but it also shows that Guardians continues as sort of a tier 1.5 property for Marvel.   The franchise reliably outperforms everything in the MCU (comparing first film to first film, etc.) but hasn’t reached Avengers numbers.

The major box office story from here on out will be how much legs the film has.  The first movie has a massive multiplier of nearly 3.5X.  Such performance is terribly unlikely, regardless of how well liked this movie is.  The first one was a totally unknown property, so there was a lot more bandwagon hoping to occur.  Also, it came out in August with little behind it on the schedule.  The next two months feature a slew of major films, with Alien: Covenant taking the first shot next week.  Comic films, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming, are also nearing release, though the later will come when Guardians Vol. 2 will be mostly out of gas.  By my rudimentary math,  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will need almost a 3X multiplier, or a heavier international to domestic ratio than its predecessor, to get to $1 billion.  Both would be unusual and are possible but not certain.

Have you seen Star Lord’s return?  How many times?  Any plans for repeat showings this week?  Share your thoughts in the comments below and stay tuned to MCUExchange for all the latest MCU box office news.

Source: Box Office Mojo