Director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened to a stellar $6.6 million in its first three foreign markets on Tuesday as it began its international assault in 37 territories this weekend, a week ahead of its May 5 launch in North America.
So far, the Disney and Marvel sequel is pacing well ahead of the first film. Guardians Vol. 2 debuted to $4.5 million in Australia, including previews. That's three times more than Guardians of the Galaxy did in August 2014. It is also the second-highest opening day for any Marvel release behind 2012's The Avengers.
Guardians Vol. 2 posted similar gains in Italy on Tuesday with $1.4 million. And in New Zealand, its opening-day haul of $700,000 represented the biggest first-day take of the year so far.
Tracking suggests the quirky superhero tentpole could approach or top $100 million in its overseas debut.
In North America, Guardians Vol. 2 is tracking to launch in the $130 million-$150 million range, well ahead of the original's $94.7 million launch. The first film was a surprise hit and went on to earn $773 million globally, a rousing number considering it featured a rag-tag group of lesser-known superheroes.
Guardians Vol. 2 will also open in raft of other major territories next week, including Russia (May 4) and China (May 5).
The follow-up reunites Gunn with his cast, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper. Newcomers include Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone. In February, a Super Bowl spot for the tentpole was one of the best-received movie ads during the game.