After taking a brief hiatus from the top of the global charts Disney is back at number one with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The sequel to 2014’s surprise $773 million action comedy hit made $101 million in its overseas launch and is cruising towards a stellar global showing. Guardians is already 57% ahead of its first installment and is on course to transform itself from a plucky outsider to yet another Disney/Marvel semi-annual tent-pole.
Galaxy 2 features the returning core cast of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan and Dave Bautista are joined by Kurt Russell who signs on to play Pratt’s character’s long lost father Ego, a strange and ancient cosmic being. Their biggest market so far is the UK where Guardians 2 landed with $15.5 million. Next is Australia at $11.6 million, followed by Germany at $8.3 million and France at $7.9 million, with Mexico’s $7.6 million rounding out the top five.
It’s English opening was the second biggest of the year after stable mate Beauty and the Beast, and it made number one in the rest of its 36 markets save for Portugal, Vietnam and Turkey. The real test comes next weekend when Guardians 2 opens in the US and China, but for now is showing all the signs of becoming another huge win for Disney and Marvel.
With a new heavyweight hitting the global circuit Fate of the Furious in its third lap definitely fell off of the breakneck pace of the previous two, but having passed $1 billion it can afford to take a quiet victory lap after its thunderous two-frame sprint. US plays dropped to a sober $19 million; still good enough for first place in a slow domestic weekend while foreign showings were worth $68 million. It’s Universal’s fourth ever billion-dollar film after Jurassic World ($1.67 billion), Furious 7 ($1.52 billion) and Illumination’s Minions ($1.16 billion.) Future movies, including a Jason Statham/Dwayne Johnson spinoff are already in the works, and two of these upcoming high-speed parties have tentative release dates for 2019 and 2021.
This shifting of power wasn’t at all surprising but for newcomer The Circle, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, two unlikely outsiders dropped in to steal the scene. Pantelion and Lionsgate’s How to be a Latin Lover, a latino focused romantic comedy released in both English and Spanish versions in just one thousand theatres, grossed $12 million in its US opening. Salma Hayek plays the sister of Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez’s Don Juan figure Maximo, who is forced to move in with her after his wife finally divorces him after decades of playing second fiddle.
Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch and Rob Lowe also star. In an even bigger shock Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, sequel to a 2015 Tamil language epic (and one of India’s five highest grossing films of all time), opened to an astonishing $10.1 million from only 450 US theatres. This massive saga of gods and lovers was filmed in two languages simultaneously, Telugu and Tamil, and has already grossed $84 million worldwide. Hanks and Watson meanwhile only managed to make $9.3 million for their $18 million budget high tech thriller.
Next week Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in the US and China, and will be joined by niche offerings The Lovers, from A24 pictures and The Dinner, starring Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Chole Sevigny and Rebecca Hall.