'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' Soars to $114 Million Opening Weekend

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 kicked off summer movie season with an impressive $114 million opening weekend at the box office. Though it fell just short of a projected $120 million, the third installment in the Marvel trilogy is officially both a commercial and critical success, boasting a 95 percent fresh Rotten Tomatoes audience score.

Globally, the PG-13 film pulled in $282 million across 52 markets, making it the 50th highest grossing debut of all time at the the international box office.

While these numbers are certainly impressive, the opening weekend did fall short of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That film debuted to $146 million in 2017. Comparatively, the first Guardians of the Galaxy opened to $94 million in 2014.

Yet Vol. 3 still outperformed Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which premiered earlier this year to a $106 million domestic box office before plummeting 69 percent to $32 million on its second weekend. It will be interesting to see whether Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 can keep that juice going over the next few weeks, as Marvel has seen the box office performance of its films growing increasingly front-loaded in recent years.

James Gunn, who directed all three Guardians of the Galaxy installments, thanked fans for coming out to see the conclusion of his magnum opus.

"I know we’re at the end because just these little commercial things are making me weepy," the director wrote on Twitter. "Thanks for everyone who has gone to see the movie this weekend—and all of you going to see it today and tomorrow!"

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 now has the the second-highest-grossing premiere of 2023, behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie which saw an $146 million opening weekend in early April. That film also stars Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario.