Box Office: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Earns Franchise-Best $17.5 Million in Previews

The Guardians of the Galaxy are blasting off at the box office one final time, earning $17.5 million in previews for director James Gunn’s “Vol. 3” finale. It will expand to 4,450 theaters nationwide on Friday.

The newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will take the box office crown after Universal and Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” topped the charts for the last four weeks. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is expected to bring in between $110 million and $120 million in its opening weekend, which is in between the grosses of the previous two films, also directed by Gunn.

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After opening in 47 international markets, “Guardians 3” has so far made $35 million overseas.

The first “Guardians of the Galaxy” had $11.2 million in Thursday previews on its way to opening with $94 million back in 2014. Its sequel, 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” reached $17 million in Thursday previews and landed a $146 million opening weekend.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will try to wash the bad taste of Marvel Studios’ previous film, February’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” out of fans’ mouths. The third “Ant-Man” movie also had $17.5 million in previews and opened to a series-best $106 million, but sharply plummeted after it was met with poor reviews after its first weekend. It tapped out with less than $500 million globally, marking the worst box office haul of the “Ant-Man” trilogy.

Gunn planned “Vol. 3” as his Marvel swan song, saying goodbye to “Guardians” stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. He’s said that the movie will be the final installment of the current Guardians lineup. In the new film, the heroes learn more about Rocket Raccoon’s (Cooper) tragic past, incurred by the evil High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). Now, Gunn will direct all his focus to DC Studios, which he co-runs with Peter Safran. He is currently writing and will direct a new “Superman” movie slated for 2025.

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