Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy 2

The 2017 summer movie season is officially underway, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was the blockbuster to kick it off. The latest adventure featuring Star-Lord and the gang concluded its first weekend in the domestic box office, and along with earning positive reception, it did quite well for itself financially, as was predicted. What does come as a surprise is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has officially made the highest financial increase for a Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel, i.e. a second movie in a series.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ended its first weekend in the United States with over $145 million. That's a nearly 54% increase from the $94.3 million that Guardians of the Galaxy brought in when it opened in 2014. According to Box Office Mojo, the only MCU follow-up that has a higher increase percentage is Captain America: Civil War, which saw an 88.5% improvement over Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But since Civil War was the third entry in the Captain America series, it's not on the same playing field as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As of today, the Guardians sequel has collected more than $285 million in foreign markets, and with the extra bit of green gathered in the U.S. since its opening weekend concluded, the current worldwide total is over $440 million. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also means Disney now holds the top two openers of the year, with Beauty and the Beast still holding the #1 spot.

Given how obscure the Guardians of the Galaxy were obscure even by comic book standards pre-2014, the fact that their first movie performed as well as it did commercially came as a shock, though certainly not an unwelcome one. Three years later, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket have slowly become ingrained in pop culture, so to learn that the sequel had such a great opening weekend isn't too surprising. Since November's Thor: Ragnarok is another threequel, the next opportunity for this sequel (second movie) increase to be surpassed will be when Ant-Man and the Wasp comes out next summer. No offense to Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne, but compared to the Guardians, it's hard to imagine the shrinking heroes performing that much better at the box office. Oh sure, maybe Ant-Man and the Wasp will accumulate more money than Ant-Man (it is a Marvel movie, after all), but it's doubtful it will be at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's level.

Whether you've already seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 or haven't had the opportunity yet, don't forget to check out our review of the movie. Following this adventure, the Guardians will return for Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018. Be sure to also browse through our 2017 movie guide to find out when this summer's other blockbusters are coming out.

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