Guardians of the Galaxy has overtaken Iron Man to become Marvel’s biggest franchise starter. But how did an unlikely entry in the Marvel canon manage to pull ahead of such cultural icons such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor?
Guardians of the Galaxy, the undisputed box office smash of the summer, features a galaxy-hopping misfit Peter Quill (Chris Pratt, Parks and Recreation) who assembles an unlikely team of ne’er-do-wells to retrieve a vital orb while evading the sinister Korath (Djimon Hounsou, Gladiator). With a gang made up of a talking raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper of Silver Linings Playbook) and an animated tree (Vin Diesel’s Groot), Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a long shot for Marvel. But even the most ardent naysayers have fallen silent as the film passed $586 million in revenue, overtaking Iron Man, even before opening in most of Asia. It’s also tied the record for the comic book movie with the most number one weekends, along with The Dark Knight.
It’s impossible to know for sure what fans are responding to, but there are a few obvious reasons Guardians of the Galaxy may have done so well. The film shatters common convention, with the unlikeliest of heroes. Audiences have loved the film’s off-kilter, high energy feel. In a world of sequels and retreads, Guardians of the Galaxy has presented some truly different fare, and injected life into a somewhat lackluster summer movie season.
And those who have seen it absolutely love the baby dancing groot!
Guardians of the Galaxy opened on August 1, 2014 and runs 121 minutes. It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language, and continues to play in theaters around North America.