5 Ways to Prep: Snatched
By George Rose
May 10, 2017
The higher the rise, the harder the fall. No weekend emphasizes this more than the second weekend of May. The first weekend has, yet again, been dominated by a Marvel movie and kicked off the summer in style. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (GOTG2) blasted off last weekend with $146 million, up 55% from Vol. 1’s surprise $94 million debut. This is a better first-to-second movie increase than any other Marvel movie and should be celebrated. It’s a huge debut, the 17th biggest in the history of opening weekends (unadjusted for inflation, IMAX and/or 3D, of course). Summer is here and I couldn’t be more excited.
Or could I? Let’s be honest, despite the massive increase over the first film, GOTG2’s debut feels a bit… underwhelming. But why?! Well, I’m trying to be positive these days but my gut instinct in life is usually pessimistic, probably because I grew up in the ‘90s before gay was cool and trendy and now I’m a Bitter Betty. Then again, gay is cool now since people are too busy worrying if Caitlyn Jenner cut off her schlong, so I’m all about the positive vibes these days. But for a moment, let’s remember a week ago everyone was talking about a $150 million plus opening for GOTG2 with a shot at a Top 10 debut if it made more than $160 million.
We all talked, we all watched and waited, and then we all got a little butt-hurt when the $146 million was announced. We shot for the stars with our estimates fell ever-so-slightly short. With all there is to celebrate, I’m still a little sad because I just want so much for this franchise to do well and break records and keep Chris Pratt shirtless for years to come. But this is the summer we’re talking about, and expectations are constantly proven right and wrong, which makes following movie stats so much fun. If there is one expectation that is generally proven right, it’s that studios are too scared to follow the release of Marvel’s first weekend debut with anything that needs to make big money. A 55% decline in weekend two still has GOTG2 earning over $65 million, more than any movie has debuted with over this second May weekend since 2009 when the Star Trek reboot flew past expectations with $79 million.
Besides that fluke, no movie in the last ten years has debuted north of $55 million in May’s second weekend with only Neighbors ($49 million) in 2014 and The Great Gatsby ($50 million) in 2013 coming close. If you take those two out, we’re looking at more moderate debuts between $15 million and $35 million, which is right in line with what this weekend has to offer. You see what I’m doing here? I’m not just here to tell you about five movies to help you prepare for a new release; I’m here to help prepare you emotionally for how well that movie performs over the weekend! Expectations always affect the emotional outcome.