'Guardians of the Galaxy' has a record-setting debut

'Guardians of the Galaxy' triumphed during a slow summer movie season, setting the record for the highest August debut ever. 'Guardians of the Galaxy' stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana.

Disney – Marvel/AP
'Guardians of the Galaxy' stars Zoe Saldana (l.), Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket Raccoon, second from l.), Chris Pratt (center), Vin Diesel (voice of Groot, second from r.), and Dave Bautista (r.).

Soon after Marvel Studios announced at its Comic-Con panel that it had already greenlit a sequel to its new film “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the movie set a box office record with its debut weekend, scoring the best August debut ever. 

“Guardians” grossed $94 million over the weekend in North America, according to the Hollywood Reporter, outgrossing the debut of every other 2014 summer movie except for the recent film “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Marvel’s movie “Guardians” follows an unusual group of various space denizens, including Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who likes to call himself Star-Lord; Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a green-skinned assassin; Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a strong superhuman; Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), a talking raccoon; and Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree-like creature whose sole phrase is “I am Groot.” The movie is directed by James Gunn, who, according to the Daily Beast, is already on board to direct the sequel. 

“Guardians” was also largely well-received critically and currently holds a score of 76 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. Associated Press reviewer Jake Coyle noted that the film “has a welcome, slightly self-mocking tone that dares to suggest intergalactic battles over orbs might actually be a tad silly” and called the casting of Pratt “inspired,” though Coyle found the comedy “weak” and wrote that “the film is terribly overstuffed.”

Pratt expressed his happiness over the movie’s big box office opening on Facebook, writing, “Thank you everyone watching #‎GuardiansOfTheGalaxy‬ this weekend! We're all so happy that people are loving it. Stay for the credits, not just the awesome post credit sequence but to read the hundreds if not thousands of names responsible for bringing it to the screen. #‎grateful‬” 

Gunn told the Daily Beast how he envisioned the world of “Guardians.” 

“For me, it was really about bringing this bright, bold, colorful, and brazen world that had grit and specific details to it and would reclaim the colors of the ‘50s and ‘60s science fiction movies – movies like ‘Forbidden Planet’ – but would also be edgy and postmodern,” he said.

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