Guardians 3: Enjoys Strong Hold in Second Week With $60.5M ($528.8 Million Globally to date)

‘Guardians 3’ Enjoys Strong Hold, ‘Book Club 2’ Bombs

Robert Rodriguez’s new sci-fi action-thriller Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck, quietly opened nationwide to just $2.3 million.

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 enjoyed the best second-weekend hold of any sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one of the best among MCU titles.

From Marvel Studios and Disney, the threequel grossed an estimated $60.5 million from 4,450 theaters in its sophomore outing, a mere 48 percent decline and more than enough to crush the competition. In more good news, the pic crossed the $200 million mark domestically to finish Sunday with a cume of $213.2 million.

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 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which fell off nearly 70 percent in its second weekend.

Before Guardians 3, only five films in the 30 title-plus MCU universe have fallen 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).

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.’ COURTESY OF MARVEL STUDIOS

Holding at No. 2 was Universal and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which grossed $13 million from 3,800 locations in its sixth weekend for a domestic tally of $536 million and $1.21 billion globally. This week, the blockbuster 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.

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’s star-studded ensemble cast is once again led by Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen.

But complicating factors include 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.

The news is worse for the weekend’s other new player, Hypnotic. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Ben Affleck, the sci-fi action-thriller may earn just $2.3 million from 2,118 theaters for a sixth-place finish (Affleck has double duty this weekend, between Hypnotic and his directorial effort Air, which hits Prime Video after an exclusive run in theaters).

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 picture also stars Alice Barga, J. S. Pardo, Hala Finley and Dayo Okeniyi.

HYPNOTIC, from left: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, 2023