There’s no doubt now that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is one of the best-received superhero movies to hit theaters since they reopened, and its stronger-than-expected second weekend lends itself to some interesting box office comparisons to May last year’s Marvel movie, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” ”
A year ago, ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ hit theaters with the white-hot momentum of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and won the biggest opening weekend ever. year with $187.4 million. But die-hard fans who bought a ticket this weekend weren’t as excited as they were with “No Way Home,” and the film’s second weekend dropped 67% for a total of $61.7 million in the second weekend.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” had a somewhat reverse trend. Whether due to weak reception of recent Marvel films or its standalone nature, “Guardians Vol. 3” opened to $118 million, $28 million less than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in 2017. and nearly $70 million less than “Multiverse of Madness.”
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Still, with a rousing reception from audiences, “Guardians Vol. 3” was able to maintain its second weekend drop of just 47% — a sway second only to “Black Panther” among all MCU movies — and post a total this weekend. -end nearly identical to “Multiverse of Madness” with $62 million.
These nearly identical results make “Multiverse of Madness” an ideal comparison for “Guardians Vol. 3” as this latest Marvel film heads into a very interesting weekend at the box office. With screens shifting to premium format at Universal’s “Fast X” this Friday, we’ll see just how much of a draw “Guardians Vol. 3” really has with ratings free of extras for Imax and Dolby screenings increasing. numbers.
“There’s a chance ‘Guardians’ will see a dip over the weekend just from the loss of surcharges, even if admissions hold up well,” said Boxoffice Pro analyst Shawn Robbins. “But at the same time, ‘Guardians’ shows it’s bringing casual moviegoers back to Marvel at a time when a new ‘Fast & Furious’ movie is coming out long after that franchise’s peak.”
Last year, “Multiverse of Madness” didn’t have a major competition in its third weekend. Instead of a “Fast & Furious” movie, the new release this weekend was “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” a movie with a limited audience that had almost no overlap with Marvel’s fanbase. The film fell 47% in its third weekend to $32.3 million before dropping 50% to $16 million on Memorial Day weekend against the record-breaking opening of “Top Gun: Maverick “.
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Audience metrics indicated that ‘Multiverse of Madness’ was considered a good but not great sequel to ‘No Way Home,’ with fans mixed on the idea of ’WandaVision’ protagonist Scarlet Witch becoming the antagonist. of the movie. Although it performed well without any competition, its box office numbers quickly plummeted once “Top Gun: Maverick” took over all of pop culture.
As the third weekend falls for “Guardians Vol. 3″ might be bigger than it would have been had it had another weekend of premium support, there is a possible outcome where “Fast X” doesn’t get as strong of a buzz as “Guardians “, allowing the Marvel film to continue to release despite the contest of tentpoles. Conversely, strong word of mouth for “Fast X” could worsen the decline.
Either way, the $32 million total for “Multiverse of Madness” will be the standard against which “Guardians Vol. 3” will be judged. If the third weekend total is over $35 million, not only will it maintain its weekend drop below 44%, but it will have topped the third weekend of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 . »
It would be difficult, but after this past weekend, it is not impossible. Superhero movies like “Quantumania” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” have struggled tremendously this year amid weak reviews, but sometimes high quality makes all the difference. Perhaps being one of the best-received superhero movies since “Avengers: Endgame” will be enough to make Guardians stand out at the box office, even when running against Dominic Toretto.
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