Walt Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Marvel in 2009 was seen as a big risk, but Guardians of the Galaxy‘s performance at the box office confirmed how even the biggest of risks can take off. The eccentric and action-packed space opera has already earned more than $200 million headed into its second weekend of release, and Walt Disney Studio executives are swimming in Scrooge McDuck’s money bin in celebration.
Guardians of the Galaxy rang up $219.3 million globally following its release last week to push Disney Studios past the $1 billion mark domestically (via Variety). It also helped the company cross the $2 billion mark for international sales, and made it the second-highest grossing studio. Warner Bros. previously held second place, and 20th Century Fox currently holds fist thanks to X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
The surprise performance of Guardians of the Galaxy helped with the overall box office take as well. Prior to the film’s release, Hollywood’s busiest time of the year was down more than 20 percent. Now, it is tracking down at nearly 18 percent, or $702 million, according to Deadline.
Thanks to all you marvelous folks and your big wonderful words of mouths #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy just had the biggest Wednesday of the year.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 7, 2014
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the last chance for a breakout hit, but it is expected to early around $40 million for its opening weekend. That could be less than Guardians of the Galaxy in its second week if Marvel Studio’s film only loses half of its audience from the previous weekend.
As pointed out by Deadline, the problem is that this summer’s big films aren’t measuring up to 2013’s box office hits. Transformers: Age of Extinction is the number one film so far this summer, but it earned less domestically than four other films from last year.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney has already earned back its investment in Marvel with the eight films released since the purchase earning nearly $6 bilion worldwide. Both the company and the studio are betting big on the upcoming line-up of films with 10 movies currently on the list through 2020. It starts with Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015 and is followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6, 2016, and Doctor Strange on July 8, 2016. There are other untitled films as well, but a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is already confirmed along with Avenger 3.
What do you think of the performance of Guardians of the Galaxy? Are you going to see it the first or second time this weekend? Let us know in the comments.
[Image via Marvel]