The first box office projections for The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are here, and they may not be as high as many would have guessed.
Marvel Studios' luck at the box office hasn't been all too great lately.
With the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the MCU's 2023 began with a false start.
The third entry in the franchise is also set to make a great deal less than Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) globally, with the film projected to reach $470-$540 million, compared to the second movie's $622.6 million. Currently, the movie sits at $473.4 at the global box office.
But will James Gunn's upcoming Marvel Studios return fare any better?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Box Office Projections
According to Box Office Pro, Vol. 3 is projected to take home $120 - $155 million domestically in its opening weekend and $288 - $403 by the end of its theatrical run.
Comparatively, the first Guardians film banked $94.3 million domestically in its first weekend and $333.7 million by the end of its run.
Vol. 2's domestic numbers were much higher, scoring $146.5 million in its first weekend and $389 million total.
While not surprising given the popularity of the franchise, on both extremes of the estimates for Vol. 3, the highly anticipated blockbuster is set to make more than Quantumania domestically, which opened to a solid $106 million three-day weekend yet won't even crack $220 million in total.
Here's how the other most recent MCU movies have fared on their domestic opening weekend:
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: $181 million
- Thor: Love and Thunder: $144 million
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: $187 million
- Spider-Man: No Way Home: $260 million
- Eternals: $71 million
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: $75 million
Will Guardians Follow the Recent Superhero Trend?
Given that Vol. 3 is the much-hyped conclusion to Gunn's time with the characters, and this current iteration of the titular team as a whole, many likely expected a more bombastic performance.
However, with the general audiences' encroaching burnout with Marvel Studios' string of projects with mediocre quality, it's no surprise that the MCU's momentum isn't at full speed.
Marvel Studios isn't the only superhero house that has had trouble with the performance of its projects.
Recently, Shazam! Fury of the Gods had a rocky debut. Not only did the movie miss the mark for critics, but it also had one of the worst DCEU opening performances ever.
The Zachary Levi-led sequel made only $3.4 million on its opening night, compared to Birds of Prey's $4 million, which held the spot at the bottom of the list since 2020. Since Fury of the Gods' release on March 17, the movie has brought in $56 million domestically and $123 million worldwide.
One key factor that will make or break Vol. 3's performance will be how it lands critically. A negative or even simply mediocre reaction will encourage the trend of lackluster performance, while overwhelming positivity could lead to the success it deserves.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5.