I don’t do movie box office predictions for a living, but I now feel pretty comfortable predicting that Guardians of the Galaxy will end up as the top-grossing movie of 2014 by the end of its run in theaters. It probably won’t remain there by the end of the year because of strong holiday-season releases (from the Hobbit and Hunger Games series), but I’m sure if you told Marvel Studios execs at the beginning of the year that their two releases would sit one-two for the year in revenue at some point, they would have been ecstatic.
And that’s exactly the situation we’re looking at now. The current number one, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, officially closed on August 21. It brought in $259.8 million (rounding up; all stats from Box Office Mojo), pushing it past The LEGO Movie for the top spot by almost exactly $2 million.
Here’s how that movie’s domestic box office receipts looked like after three full weeks of release:
- Week 1 – $117.6 million
- Week 2 – $174.9 million
- Week 3 – $208.8 million
For comparison purposes, here’s how Guardians of the Galaxy is tracking:
- Week 1 – $134.4 million
- Week 2 – $197.5 million
- Week 3 – $234.3 million
Guardians is actually falling off week-to-week at a slightly greater percentage than The Winter Soldier did, but it’s actually increased its lead each week. But even if it starts dropping off even faster with the impending end of the summer, it’s probably going to sneak past Cap sometime during the first week of September.
If it can make it to $300 million, it would enter rarified air as one of the top 10 super hero movies of all time — currently only nine have passed that mark, with Man of Steel holding down the 10th position at $291 million. Even if it doesn’t (I’m thinking it will end up somewhere just north of $280 million), it’ll pass the 1989 Batman soon to become the third-highest-grossing super hero movie that wasn’t a sequel or a follow-up like The Avengers. Only Sony’s first Spider-Man and Marvel’s first Iron Man will top it.
That’s quite an accomplishment for a movie about a team most of the public had never heard of prior to 2014. It also suggests the sequel, coming in 2017, will crack that top 10 list. Marvel has to be loving that thought.