Box Office: ‘Guardians 3’ Enjoys Heroic Hold With $62.6M, ‘Book Club 2’ Banned

James Gunn’s band of galactic rascals are proving their worth at the box office as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 enjoyed the best second-weekend hold of any sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second-best among any MCU title, according to final weekend numbers.

From Marvel Studios and Disney, the threequel grossed an estimated $62.6 million from 4,450 theaters in its sophomore outing, a mere 47 percent decline and more than enough to crush the competition (that’s up from Sunday’s estimate of $60.5 million, a 49 percent decline). In more good news, the pic crossed the $200 million mark domestically to finish Sunday with a cume of $215.6 million.

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Overseas, Guardians 3 took in another $91.9 million from 52 markets for a foreign tally of $315.6 million — including a pleasing $58.4 million from China — and $530.9 million globally.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Chris Pratt in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Marvel movies have suffered larger-than-usual drops of late, so Guardians 3 is welcome news for Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios. That includes February’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which fell off nearly 70 percent in its second weekend. In only two weeks, Guardians 3 has already rocketed past Quantumania’s entire global total of $475.8 million.

Before Guardians 3, only five films in the 30 title-plus MCU had fallen by 50 percent or less in their second weekends. The list is topped by Black Panther (45 percent) and followed by Thor (47 percent), Doctor Strange (49 percent), Iron Man (50 percent) and The Avengers (50 percent). The previous two Guardians movies each declined 55 percent.

Holding at No. 2 was Universal and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which grossed $12.6 million from 3,800 locations in its sixth weekend for a domestic tally of $535.6 million and $1.21 billion globally, according to final weekend numbers.

'The Super Mario Bros. Movie.'
The Super Mario Bros. Movie

This week, Super Mario Bros. shattered another record when overtaking Minions to become the fourth-biggest animated film of all time and the biggest Universal animation of all time, not adjusted for inflation.

New offering Book Club: The Next Chapter only managed a third-place finish with a disappointing $6.5 million from 3,500 theaters domestically, well behind the $13.6 million opening of the first Book Club in 2018. From Focus Features, the film features a star-studded ensemble cast once again led by Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen.

Book Club 2 had hoped to see a big bump thanks to Mother’s Day.

But complicating factors included a so-so B CinemaScore from audiences (the first pic earned an A-) and unfavorable reviews. Also, in the age of streaming, older females remain a difficult demo to win over.

Among Friday ticket buyers for Book Club 2, 73 percent were female, while 67 percent were age 47 and older, including nearly 50 percent over the age of 55.

Holdover Evil Dead Rise continued to scare up good business for Warner Bros., placing fourth domestically with $3.7 million for a North American tally of $60.2 million. It earned another $6.7 million overseas for a foreign cume of $71.6 million and $131.8 million globally.

Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson in 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.'
Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Liosngate’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret rounded out the top five with $2.5 million for a somewhat subdued $16.5 million

The news is notably worse for the weekend’s other new player, Hypnotic. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Ben Affleck, the sci-fi action-thriller bombed with $2.4 million from 2,118 theaters for a sixth-place finish. The movie marks the worst wide opening of Affleck’s acting career behind Phantoms ($3.1 million) and Gigli ($3.8 million), not adjusted for inflation. It’s also the lowest wide opening for a film directed by Rodriguez.

Far more important to Affleck is his previous movie Air, which he both directed and stars in. The acclaimed sports drama debuted on Prime Video this weekend after receiving an exclusive run in theaters in an unprecedented move for Amazon Studios. Air as earned north of $86 million in a promising start for Amazon’s foray into theatrical.

Hypnotic found itself stranded when distribution and production company Solstice Entertainment went out of business. Indie distributor Ketchum stepped up and is releasing the film domestically in tandem with Relativity. The pic also stars Alice Barga, J. S. Pardo, Hala Finley and Dayo Okeniyi.

HYPNOTIC, from left: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, 2023
Ben Affleck and Alice Braga in Hypnotic

May 14, 7:51 a.m. Updated with revised estimates.
May 15, 7:40 a.m. Updated with final domestic numbers for Guardians.
May 15, 10:20 a.m. Updated with final domestic numbers for Super Mario Bros.

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