Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy proved itself ruler of the box office universe with the biggest August release opening ever, by quite a stretch. The comic-book adaptation directed by James Gunn raked in an estimated $94 million, blowing away the month’s previous record-holding opening The Bourne Ultimatum, which took in $69.3 million back in 2007. Guardians‘ opening weekend success holds up to Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier (opened April 4, opening weekend take $95m) and bested Thor: The Dark World (November 2013, $85.7m). The film centered on the quirky super hero team, relatively unknown to non-comic-fan moviegoers, may be on track to become the highest-grossing movie of the season according to boxofficemojo.
Last week’s topper Lucy, an original action flick starring Scarlett Johansson, fell 58% to number 2 ($18.3m), and the brand new James Brown biopic Get On Up opened at number 3 ($14m). Dwayne Johnson’s mythic actioner Hercules took an Olympic blow to number 4 with $10.7m, a 64% plummet. CG simian spectacle Dawn of the Planet of the Apes fell 48% to round up the top 5 (and push Planes: Fire & Rescue out since last week) with $8.7m — since its release July 11 the sequel has taken in almost $190m domestically.
Guardians also topped international intakes, opening in 42 territories — including Russia ($13m), U.K. ($10.8m), Mexico ($6.5m), Brazil ($5.4m) and South Korea ($4.7,) — for a total of $66.4m. The intergalactic super hero adventure has yet to open in other major markets, leaving it wide open for further success. Dawn took in an additional $47.5m oversees, DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 earned $20m from 36 markets, and Transformers: Age of Extinction joined the $1 billion club thanks to a cumulative overseas total of $763.8m.