LATE SATURDAY UPDATE: Great news as Disney/Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 held it together on Saturday with an estimated $38.7M, just -20% off from its Friday+previews’ figure of $48.2M. This will get the James Gunn directed MCU swan song to around $116M per industry estimates (not Disney), which is higher than the $110M we were spotting earlier in the week. Essentially, and logically, that great heat out there for the film kicked in. Phew!
Remember, it’s also about global, and with Nancy’s projection of $150M offshore, GOTG3 gets to a $266M WW start. That’s close to cracking the top 50 global openings of all-time. Yes, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuted to $452M worldwide, but that was working off the gas from its connections to Disney+’s WandaVision and Spider-Man: No Way Home, which Stephen Strange also starred in.
The threequel’s Friday to Saturday ease is on par with the first film’s -18% between Friday/previews and Saturday, but lower than the -8.5% dip between those respective two days on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, GOTG3 in regards to its box office trajectory was never suppose to be like GOTG2, and that’s not due to threequelitis distrib sources tell me. More on that tomorrow morning as Disney might be looking at more money here. Many will try to poke holes in Marvel, and yes, there is a concern about superhero fatigue, but it’s a $100M+ opening start to summer, so, shut up. The motion picture industry will relish this opening for GOTG3. The opening for GOTG3 is just above 2002’s Spider-Man from Sony ($114.8M) which was the first movie ever to debut to north of $100M+ in a given weekend.
In regards to the number of movies that have opened to north of $100M in May, GOTG3 will put that figure at 18 titles, ranking No. 12 as of this post.
Among other pics, Illumination/Universal/Nintendo’s fifth weekend of Super Mario Bros saw $8.2M on Saturday, +95% over Friday for a revised weekend of $18.6M, -54%, for a running total of $518.1M.
Sony/Screen Gems’ Love Again still isn’t finding any suitors, with an $813K estimated Saturday, -15% from Friday for a $2.3M 3-day. No CinemaScore was recorded, however, Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score was higher than PostTrak exits at 94%. That said, Rotten Tomatoes’ critics screamed ‘stay away’ at 12% rotten. Despite the low production cost at a supposed $9M net, a $2.3M opening is just nothing to brag about. Even if the film is profitable for the studio–which was the case with their low-grossing genre movie, The Invitation– this amount of money doesn’t do any great favors for exhibition.
SATURDAY UPDATE, after Friday exclusive: …Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is so far staying on track with a $48.2M Saturday, still on its way to a $110M opening. Exits remain high, with the threequel getting its third A CinemaScore, and PostTrak at 91% positive, 79% definite recommend.
As we told you yesterday, GOTG3 was modeling out like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. However, some saw it going under $100M — which would be an awful start for the third fully opened summer after the pandemic. Yes, this opening is off 25% from GOTG2’s $146.5M start, but it’s also 17% ahead of the original 2014 movie’s $94.3M opening. We’ll postmortem GOTG3 after it gets through Saturday night. Coming out of CinemaCon, some have snarked about superhero fatigue. However, this is a great movie, the 11th Marvel movie to win the first weekend of May with $100M+. What other brand can boast that?
GOTG3 is pushing overall weekend ticket sales for the first weekend of summer to around $152M, -32% from a year ago, when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with its $187.4M opening pushed tickets sales to $222.3M.
GOTG3 was 62% male dominant, with 58% between 18-34, and the largest deme being 25-34 at 31%. Updated diversity demos were 41% Caucasian, 26% Latino and Hispanic, 16% Black, & 17% Asian/other. The James Gunn-directed title is playing evenly throughout the U.S., but strongest in the West, with six out of the top ten theaters currently. Natch, AMC Burbank is the top-grossing theater in the nation with $146K on Friday (including previews). Imax and PLF are driving 32% of GOTG3‘s ticket sales.
Sony has a second dud in a row after George Foreman last weekend with Love Again, which is doing $2.6M. What’s going on here? Some may easily jump and say that non-tentpole adult counterprogramming doesn’t have a chance post-pandemic. But you have to know that these movies hitting the marquee went into development during the pandemic. Everything we’re seeing was hatched in 2020-2021. Studios were hasty to throw movies on screen (Bros, Ambulance) to just have product when theaters reopened. George Clooney and Julia Roberts proved with Ticket to Paradise that romantic comedies worked this past fall, that they can get audiences away from their streaming menus.
Also, it doesn’t help that the movie is coming out so close to Chopra Jonas’ Citadel on Amazon Prime, which recently drew a big audience for the streamer. Remember the wise advice Denzel Washington received from his mentor, Sidney Poitier: “If they see you for free all week, they won’t pay to see you on the weekend.”
Still, those few female ticket buyers (75%) who watched Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ latest weren’t that hard on it, giving it 81% positive and 57% definite recommend. The 18-34 set showed up at 44%. The mix was 53% Caucasian, 20% Latino and Hispanic, 7% Black, and 20% Asian/other. If there was any spark among the movie’s soft ticket sales, it was in the Mountain Region, with three of the top ten theaters coming from Utah — which is rare. Love Again‘s top gross was Cinemark University Mall in Orem, UT at, eeks, $2,2K.
1) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Dis) 4,450 theaters, Fri $48.2M, 3-day $110M/Wk 1
2.) The Super Mario Bros Movie (Uni/Ill) 3,909 (-295) theaters, Fri $4.2M (-53%), 3-day $18.5M (-55%), Total $518M/Wk 5
3.) Evil Dead Rise (WB) 3,036 (-381) theaters, Fri $1.66M (-54%), 3-day $5.6M (-54%), Total $53.9M/Wk 3
4.) Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (LG) 3,343 theaters, Fri $866k (-61%), 3-day $3.2M (-52%), Total $12.5M/Wk 2
5) Love Again (Sony) 2,703 theaters, Fri $955K, 3-day $2.62M/Wk 1
6.) John Wick: Chapter 4 (LG) 1,658 (-823) theaters, Fri $593K (-51%), 3-day $2.5M (-49%), Total $180.2M/Wk 7
7 Air (AMZ) 1,632 (-770) theaters Fri $388k (-62%) 3 day $1.63M (-59%), Total $50.5M/Wk 5
8) Dungeons & Dragons (Par) 1,751 (-958) theaters Fri $372K (-64%) 3-day $1.48M (-65%), Total $90.9M/Wk 6
9) Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant (MGM) 1,807 (-824) theaters Fri $339K (-65%) 3-day $1.34M (-63%) Total $14.9M/Wk 3
10) Sisu (LG) 1,006 theaters, Fri $300K (-78%) 3-day $1.03M (-69%) Total $5.49M/Wk 2
EXCLUSIVE: The James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is spotting $47M-$48M today, including $17.5M previews, for what will hopefully be a $110M start at 4,450 theaters. One analyst tells us that dollar-for-dollar, the Marvel Studios title is looking a lot like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Both movies did about $37M in presales, with the latter debuting to a franchise-record $106.1M over its Friday-Sunday.
Even though the 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 did $17M previews, then a $56M Friday for a $146.5M domestic opening (the highest in the series), GOTG3 is a different beast.
Great exits from Thursday night as we told you, however, there’s a feeling that something might be slowing Guardians down.
Social media analytics firm RelishMix observed that there was mixed chatter out there on social for the latest Guardians movie.
“Some of those on social criticize the trailer to be the ‘worst cut trailer’ in MCU history, while questioning the use of a bland performance instead of the Bee Gees for the soundtrack and labeling it as a knock-off,” RelishMix said in its latest report.
But then there’s an upbeat vibe exclaiming that the GOTG franchise is “the best Marvel movies,” with some not ready to see it go, i.e. “‘Wish it wouldn’t end yet, my heart sinks knowing this is the end, it’s been a fun ride! Thank you and we love the soundtracks!” as well as “I’m glad to finally see a Marvel movie that I’m dying to see in the cinema. After all the trash we have had recently, it will be nice to see something worth watching!’”
As far as social media reach goes, it’s massive, with the threequel counting 704M views impressions across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, in line with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (717.8M social media universe/$187M opening) and higher than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (669M social media universe/$177.3M opening). Viral reposting rate is massive at 42:1 for GOTG3.
GOTG3 had a huge boost in its social media wattage from a pregame Super Bowl spot that clocked 134.1M views across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok combined. That outran Warner Bros.’ The Flash and Universal’s Fast X in post-game-day traffic measured by RelishMix.
RelishMix adds, “GOTG3 cast activation levels are exceptional with an overall impact at 349.9M including social icon Vin Diesel at 200.4M, Chris Pratt at 61.9M, Dave Bautista at 17.1M, Zoe Saldana at 16.6M, Maria Bakalova at 460K plus director James Gunn at 4.6M.”
2.) The Super Mario Bros Movie (Uni/Ill) 3,909 theaters, Fri $4.2M, 3-day $18.5M (-55%), Total $518M/Wk 5
3.) Evil Dead Rise (WB) 3,036 theaters, Fri $1.7M, 3-day $5.6M (-54%), Total $53.9M/Wk 3
4.) Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (LG) 3,343 theaters, Fri $930k, 3-day $3.3M (-51%), Total $12.6M/Wk 2
5.) John Wick: Chapter 4 (LG) 1,658 theaters, Fri $600K, 3-day $2.4M (-50%), Total $180.1M/Wk 7
5.) Love Again (Sony) 2,703 theaters, Fri $850K, 3-day $2.4M/Wk 1