‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Ignites With $170 Million Internationally, $289 Million Globally

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UPDATED: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ignited to $289.3 million globally, including a better-than-expected $170 million at the international box office.

Heading into the weekend, Disney’s superhero tentpole was projected to collect $130 million to $140 million overseas. Thanks to positive word-of-mouth, estimates were revised up by Sunday. Even better, Monday’s final tally came in above Sunday’s estimates of $282 million globally and 168 million internationally. That’s good news because summer movie season is only going to get more competitive as “Fast X” and “The Little Mermaid” open later this month.

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In North America, the conclusion to Marvel’s trilogy about a band of intergalactic misfits opened to $114 million, ranking as the second-biggest domestic opening weekend of the year, behind “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($146 million).

Elsewhere, “Vol. 3” enjoyed the strongest start in China ($28.1 million), followed by the United Kingdom ($14.7 million), Korea ($13.6 million), Mexico ($13 million) and France ($8.2 million). The comic book film promisingly beat expectations in China, which is usually a huge territory for Marvel but has been increasingly averse to most Hollywood movies, other than “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

The latest “Guardians of the Galaxy” entry — the 32nd film in the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe — was especially popular in Imax, which accounted for $25 million of global ticket sales. That marks the biggest global opening of the year for Imax.

“James Gunn and our partners at Marvel and Disney leaned heavily into Imax technology to deliver a visually stunning and emotional finale to this iconic franchise,” says Imax CEO Rich Gelfond. “We expect the strong audience response to yield a long, successful run at the box office.”

In terms of global ticket sales, the first two “Guardians” movies were promising box office performers. The original 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” ended its theatrical run with $439 million internationally and $773 million globally, while the follow-up tapped out with $473 million internationally and $863 million globally.

James Gunn returned to write and direct “Vol. 3,” which is his final Marvel movie before he takes the reins at rival comic book banner DC Studios. The emotional tale brings back Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, Zoe Saldaña’s Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer and Vin Diesel’s Groot as they embark on one last mission, to protect Bradley Cooper’s Rocket from evil forces that threaten to dissolve the team.

Updated to include Monday’s final tally.

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