Long Range Forecast: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Prepping for $150M+ Summer Launch

Easily one of the most anticipated films of the year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at last joins our forecast this week as we take our first peek at the coming summer season.

The sequel is already well on its way to building from the success of its predecessor. Having earned $333.2 million domestically from an impressive $94.3 million debut in August 2014, the first Guardians was the runaway box office smash of its year. It not only kick-started a new franchise for Disney and Marvel, it also confirmed Chris Pratt as a box office star six months after he led the voice cast of The LEGO Movie (a fact compounded the next year by the success of Jurassic World). Guardians arguably remains the studio’s riskiest venture to date, and it paid off in an exceptionally big way.

Pre-release buzz leading up to Vol. 2 brings to mind a similar fervor that followed a budding blockbuster franchise into its first sequel: Pirates of the Caribbean. Like Guardians, the first entry of that series was a summer box office behemoth that very few saw coming. At the time, 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest sequel broke the all-time opening weekend record with its $135.6 million debut (which adjusts to around $179 million with today’s ticket prices).

Although we don’t expect Vol. 2 to approach Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ existing $248 million record, it’s nonetheless trending for what should be another massive Marvel debut. Social media buzz has been afire with each new trailer release, and numerous audience surveys name it among the likes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Beauty and the Beast as one of the films audiences are most looking forward to seeing in 2017.

We’ll be monitoring and updating its box office potential in the months ahead, but for now, everything is firing on all cylinders for writer/director James Gunn’s return to the Guardians‘ corner of the MCU.

This Week’s Changes & Other Additions

Notable among this week’s changes to films we’re publicly tracking:

  • Beauty and the Beast continues to steamroll across social media and industry tracking, while initial pre-sales reports remain especially strong versus key comparison films.
  • Forecasts for The Belko ExperimentCHiPS, and Life have been lowered due to slow-moving social media trends and mixed results from traditional tracking.

Check out our forecasts for these and other upcoming films in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
3/17/2017 Beauty and the Beast (2017) $150,000,000 4% $420,000,000 4,000 Disney
3/17/2017 The Belko Experiment $4,250,000 -15% $8,925,000 -15% 1,650 BH Tilt
3/24/2017 CHiPS $13,500,000 -16% $44,000,000 -17% 3,000 Warner Bros.
3/24/2017 Life (2017) $14,000,000 -7% $46,700,000 -7% 3,100 Sony / Columbia
3/24/2017 Power Rangers $38,000,000 $110,000,000 3,800 Lionsgate
3/24/2017 Slamma Jamma n/a n/a River Rain
3/31/2017 The Boss Baby $24,000,000 $83,000,000 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3/31/2017 Ghost in the Shell (2017) $40,000,000 $105,000,000 Paramount / DreamWorks
3/31/2017 Step Sisters n/a n/a Broad Green Pictures
3/31/2017 The Zookeeper’s Wife $5,000,000 $19,000,000 Focus Features
4/7/2017 The Case for Christ $3,500,000 $14,000,000 Pure Flix
4/7/2017 Going In Style (2017) $12,500,000 $49,000,000 Warner Bros. / New Line
4/7/2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village $21,500,000 $78,500,000 Sony / Columbia
4/14/2017 The Fate of the Furious $110,000,000 $264,000,000 Universal
4/14/2017 Spark $3,000,000 $7,500,000 Open Road
4/21/2017 Born in China $5,500,000 $19,000,000 Disneynature
4/21/2017 Free Fire $8,000,000 $24,000,000 A24
4/21/2017 LEAP! $6,000,000 $19,000,000 The Weinstein Company
4/21/2017 Phoenix Forgotten n/a n/a Cinelou Films
4/21/2017 The Promise $2,250,000 $4,000,000 Open Road Films
4/21/2017 Unforgettable $10,000,000 $23,500,000 Warner Bros.
4/28/2017 The Circle $13,000,000 $40,000,000 STX Entertainment
4/28/2017 How to Be a Latin Lover $6,500,000 $23,000,000 Lionsgate
4/28/2017 Sleight $5,000,000 $11,000,000 BH Tilt
5/5/2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $160,000,000 NEW $400,000,000 NEW Disney

Shawn Robbins, Alex Edghill, and Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report.

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