Marvel Studios next big thing kicked off its theatrical run with the same Thursday previews box office take as its last big thing. According to THR, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opened to $17.5M on Thursday, matching the preview night take of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Quantumania went on to a franchise-best opening weekend before quickly losing momentum, something Marvel Studios is hoping not to see happen with Vol. 3.
Early forecasts for Vol. 3‘s opening weekend box office have it trending at or below the opening of its 2017 predecessor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the $17.5M previews number would seem to indicate that might be the case. Not only does the $17.5 match Quantumania, but it also outdoes the $17M Thursday previews take Vol. 2 had 6 years ago. And while that number is on par with Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Thursday and a top 40 all-time Thursday value, it seems to indicate some hesitancy on the part of audiences to head out to see another Marvel Studios film.
All three of Marvel Studios’ 2022 theatrical releases opened far stronger than Quantumania and now Vol. 3. Sam Raimi‘s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness took in more than double on its first Thursday with $36M, Thor: Love and Thunder saw $29M in receipts on its opening Thursday and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever too in $28M. Unlike Quantumania, those three films held a strong at the box office for weeks, something Disney is hopeful will happen with Vol. 3. The new film won’t see much competition at the box office and it does seem that it’s generating a little more positive word of mouth than Quantumania which means while it might not open to a huge number, it could have legs and ultimately end up with a satisfactory cumulative box office take.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now playing.