Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
May 6, 2017

He makes such a cute little DJ

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Summer movie season kicks off with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.: Now With Expectations. It’s off to a great start with $56.1 million on Friday, with $17 million of that coming from Thursday night showings. That’s a nice bump up from the $37.8 million start in August 2014 for the first movie (which was a Friday of $27.6 million plus $11.2 million from Thursday), however it may not quite be the blast off to the season Disney was expecting.

Marvel has owned the first weekend in May for a while now, and tentpoles in previous years included Captain America: Civil War ($75.5 million in 2016), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($84.4 million in 2015), Iron Man 3 ($68.8 million in 2013) and of course the first Avengers ($80.8 million in 2012). Guardians of the Galaxy 2’s Friday only beat 2013’s The Amazing Spiderman 2, which started with $35.1 million, a performance that led to another reboot of the franchise, due out this July. While this is an absolutely fine performance and will be a solid second place behind Beauty and the Beast for the largest opening of 2017, it’s not joining the upper echelon of box office performances; it’s looking at the 6th highest May opening weekend of all time, filling the gap between Spider Man 3 ($151.1 million) and Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million), both Marvel releases from the first weekend of May, by the way.

Looking at the “true” Friday earnings for Vol. 2, that’s $39.1 million. Marvel’s May releases have generally maintained a 3.0 weekend multiplier when you take out the Friday number (with Age of Ultron the aberration, coming in with a 2.48), and that’s what I’m looking for here from Guardians of the Galaxy. That would mean a still great weekend of $134.3 million weekend.