‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Crushes August Box Office Record, $160.4M Earned Worldwide

Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy has turned a motley band of space criminals into box office gold. The opening weekend take for the James Gunn directed action-adventure flick destroyed the previous August record for the United States and brought in big bucks from overseas markets as well.

Walt Disney originally expected Guardians of the Galaxy to earn around $65 million domestically for its opening weekend. Not a bad start for an August opening and just behind 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, which earned $69.3 million. Star-Lord and Rocket blasted past those marks to ring up $94 million this weekend. It grossed an additional $66.4 million from 42 international markets for a total take of $160.4 million worldwide.

“It’s a testament to the momentum of the brand overall and all of the pieces just coming together in the right way,” Dave Hollis, Walt Disney Studios’ executive vice president of theatrical distribution, told Variety.

It’s important to note that the $94 million is the current estimated total before Sunday’s official receipts come in. It could still go higher, according to Box Office Guru‘s Gitesh Pandya.

The strong August opening from Guardians of the Galaxy is good news for the movie industry. The total box office take for summer 2014 was down over 20 percent from 2013. Theaters are struggling to compete with alternative forms of entertainment and the growing ease of renting or streaming movies.

For example, Transformers: Age of Extinction just became the first film to pass $1 billion worldwide at the box office, but that was thanks to a record-breaking $300 million in ticket sales from China.

Guardians undoubtedly benefitted from the Marvel brand. Since The Avengers earned $1.5 billion in 2012, the rest of the Marvel Studios line-up has done better at the box office. Iron Man 3 nearly doubled its revenue from Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World improved 44 percent over the original movie, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier saw a 92 percent increase over its predecessor.

Naturally, a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is already confirmed and there’s talks of a potential team up with The Avengers.

Were you among those that plopped down cash to see Guardians of the Galaxy? Was it worth the money? Let us know in the comments below.

[Images via Marvel.com]