Weekend Box Office: It’s Good To Be Groot

As expected, Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two kicked off the 2017 summer movie season in grand style. The sequel was the week’s only new release as other studios steered clear of the highly anticipated return of Star Lord and friends. Guardians earned four times more than the rest of the top ten combined.

Launching Thursday night on 4,347 screens, Guardians V2 scored a massive $145 million. The opening was the sixth biggest to date for the $11 billion grossing Marvel Studios and the 17th biggest opening of all time. Rocket and Groot’s return trip to the cinemas was also 54% bigger than the $94 million brought in three years ago this August by the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

The daily box office breakdown: $17 million on Thursday night, $39 million on Friday, $51 million on Saturday and an estimated $37.7 million on Sunday. The 40% jump in business on Saturday is a clear sign that fans were quite pleased with what they saw and were spreading favorable word-of-mouth. That chorus of approval was also evident via the “A” rating the film earned on CinemaScore, which is also what the first Guardians scored back in 2014.

Even the hard-to-please critics were pretty happy with what they saw in the new $200 million production, although not quite as much as the first time. Guardians V2 scored an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 67/100 rating on Metacritic. In comparison, they gave the first Guardians a 91% RT approval rating and a 76/100 Metacritic score.

After pocketing $106 million one week ago from 37 foreign engagements, Guardians V2 added $124 million to the Mouse House’s bank account as it expanded worldwide. Russia, Korea and China were among the biggest markets opening the film this weekend with The Middle Kingdom leading the way with a $48 million debut. To date, the international total for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two stands at $282.6 million.

The Guardians sequel wasn’t the only Vin Diesel film in the top ten. The actor’s The Fate of the Furious occupied second place, scoring an estimated $8.6 million from 3,595 theaters in its fourth weekend. Down 57%, the domestic total F8 currently stands at $207 million on its way to a $220 million finale. Overseas, The Fate of the Furious is cruising ever so closer to the billion-dollar mark. After one month, F8 has raced to $951 million in foreign sales.

In third place was Fox/Dreamworks’ The Boss Baby with $6 million from 3,284 theaters. Off only 35%, the cartoon hit has bagged $156.7 million and should be able to command its way to around the $165-170 million mark. The film has brought in $278 million overseas.

Lionsgate/Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover seduced 57% less people in its second round on 1,203 screens. The comedy landed in fourth this week, earning an estimated $5.2 million in its sophomore session, bringing its overall total to $20.6 million. A $30 million final total looks to be in the cards.

Climbing back into the top five in its eighth week of release was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with an estimated $4.9 million from 2,680 screens. Off only 28%, the musical fantasy smash has brought in an amazing $487 million so far. The film still has a chance to hit the $500 million mark by the end of its domestic run. Beauty’s foreign gross is $698 million.

  1.  The Circle (2017) (STX) $4 million (-55%); $15.7 million
  2.  Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (Great India) $3.2 million (-69%); $16.1 million
  3.  Gifted (FoxSearchlight) $2 million (-39%); $19 million
  4.  Going in Style (2017) (Warner) $1.9 million (-47%); $40.6 million
  5.  Smurfs: The Enchanted Village (Sony) $1.8 million (-49%); $40 million

Next weekend, Warner’s long-delayed King Arthur arrives alongside Fox’s Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy, Snatched. Neither will come close to the second weekend haul of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two, which should bring in between $65-70 million.

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