‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ opens to $114 million amid discussion of ‘superhero fatigue’.

That’s an impressive sum for any film, but slightly less than what you’d expect from a Marvel opening.

NEW YORK – There’s nothing like the promise of a closing chapter to draw people into movies, especially when related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This weekend, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which bids farewell to this iteration of space misfits and its driving creative voice, director James Gunn, earned $114 million in ticket sales from 4,450 North American locations , according to study estimates Sunday.

Internationally, where the film was released in 52 countries including China, “Vol. 3” earned $168 million, giving it a $282 million global debut.

Domestically, that’s both an impressive sum for any film and slightly less than we’ve come to expect from a Marvel opening. Last year, on the same weekend, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” riding on the success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” grossed $187.4 million in its first three days in North America . And in November, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” also surpassed $181.3 million.

But things have come down to earth this year, at least by top-tier superhero standards. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” debuted just over $106 million to reach $474 million worldwide. At rival studio DC/Warner Bros., “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” grossed just $133.4 million total. The question on some analysts’ minds this weekend is whether it’s because of the specific character or a bigger “superhero fatigue” issue.

“Guardians Vol. 3″ knocked “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” out of first place after four weekends at the top of the charts and kicked off the summer movie season, a vital and usually lucrative corridor for Hollywood that runs through Labor Day and often represents the 40% of a year box office.

For Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, it’s still a solid opener for the summer season, which he says is poised to deliver the most robust earnings since 2019.

“While ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s debut may reflect some audience weariness with the dependable superhero genre, this is only the beginning of what promises to be a compelling film market with a deadly combination of captivating films for every taste and every demographic of audience,” said Dergarabedian.

The next big superhero movie on the line is DC’s “The Flash,” set for June 16, which has its own barrage of intrigue surrounding it due to star Ezra Miller’s personal and legal troubles.

“Guardians vol. 3” sees the return of actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Reviews were mostly positive, but a little more divided than previous installments. And it remains difficult to compare a pre-pandemic opening like Vol. 2’s $146 million debut (May 2017) with one post-pandemic.

“Vol. 3″ is Gunn’s latest Guardians/Marvel film as he turns his attention to major DC Studios.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” added $18.6 million in its fifth weekend to take second place, bringing its domestic total to $518.1 million. Globally, it has now surpassed $1.1 billion.

Third place went to “Evil Dead Rise” with $5.7 million, and in fourth place was “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” with $3.4 million — both outstanding.

Studios left the weekend fairly free for the superhero juggernaut, but Screen Gems and Sony have debuted their new Priyanka Chopra Jonas romantic comedy “Love Again” (featuring Celine Dion and some new songs) at 2,703 locations. He earned a modest $2.4 million to take fifth place.

Estimated Friday-to-Sunday ticket sales in US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final country figures will be released on Monday.

1. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, $114 million.

2. “The Super Mario Bros.” Movie, $18.6 million.

3. “Evil Dead Rise,” $5.7 million.

4. “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret,” $3.4 million.

5. “Love Again,” $2.4 million.

6. “John Wick: Chapter 3,” $2.4 million.

7. “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”, $1.5 million.

8. “Air”, $1.4 million.

9. “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant,” $1.2 million.

10. “Sisu”, $1.1 million.

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