“Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3,” the latest offering from the Marvel cinematic universe, put up $114 million at the domestic box office and another $168 million from foreign markets — meaning that the film’s opening weekend alone took it more than 1/4 of the way to the $1 billion benchmark.
Despite what would seem to be a big opening weekend, the third installment of “Guardians” – written and directed by new DC studio-head James Gunn — came in slightly short of an expected $120 million domestic. According to a report from entertainment outlet Variety, the film rates squarely between the franchise’s first film — which had an opening domestic box office total of $94 million in 2014 — and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2,” which opened with a $146 million weekend in 2017.
Another 52 global markets brought in an additional $168 million — including $28 million from China — adding up to a worldwide box office total of $282 million.
The movie, which features actor Chris Pratt as Star-Lord topped the domestic box office by almost $100 million for the weekend — and was followed by “Super Mario Bros.” — another Pratt-led film that brought in just over $18 million.
The video game-based animated film – which also starred comic actor Jack Black as the villain Bowser — tied the second “Guardians” outing in its first weekend at the domestic box office, opening the first week in April with $146 million. “Super Mario Bros.” has since become the first film of 2023 to pass the $1 billion benchmark globally. It has also been touted as the most successful video game-based film in movie history.
Since the start of the pandemic, only five movies have reached the billion-dollar mark — “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Jurassic World: Dominion,” and “Super Mario Bros.” If “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” makes the cut and brings the total to six, half of them will be headlined by Pratt.