– by Joseph Jammer Medina

While Marvel Studios was undoubtedly hoping for Guardians of the Galaxy to hit it big back in 2014, it wasn’t necessarily a sure thing. This was a virtually unknown comic book property, and to top it off, it was sporting a strange, over-the-top visual aesthetic more fit for a cartoon than a standard live-action flick. Would audiences be able to connect with a film like that after being stuck to more grounded stories in previous Marvel Studios outings?

Obviously, we can look back and see that the answer was a resounding yes. The film opened big with $94 million in its opening weekend, and by the end of its worldwide run, it had taken in over $773 million — a huge accomplishment for a virtually unknown entity.

So what does this mean for the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Is this one bound to take in a significant larger chunk of cash? It certainly seems like it. According to Deadline, the film is estimated to take in $130-$150 million in its opening weekend in North America. This is a substantial step up from the previous film’s opening, and it makes sense.

This time around, the film is very much a known I.P., and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know who the Guardians are nowadays. Between its broad comedy, bright colors, and strong storytelling, it’s already made an impact on mainstream viewers. What’s more is that reception to the film has already been pretty positive. From day one, all signs seemed to be pointing to a solid follow-up, which is something fans can always get behind. 

But what about the competition? If you’ve notice, there really hasn’t been much blockbuster fare since Fate of the Furious hit theaters a couple weeks back. This weekend will see Emma Watson and Tom Hanks hit the big screen in the technological social commentary film, The Circle. While it may be a hit with a very specific adult demographic, it seems unlikely that it will pull from any of Guardians 2’s numbers.

In the week following Guardians 2, the only other film that would dare compete with it is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and we’re not even sure audiences or very hungry for a film like that right now. Even if they were, the crossover between Guardians 2 isn’t necessarily one-to-one. As such, we don’t expect a lot of folks to be hanging on to their money on May 5, in hopes of seeing King Arthur the following weekend instead.

In short, barring some freak occurrence, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 looks like it’ll be hitting well within that $130-$150 million range with ease.

What do you think? Will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 be another big success for Marvel Studios? How much do you think it’ll make? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Deadline

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.