It's easy to grin when your ship has come in, and you've got the box office beat
Image: Disney/marvel

Oh, so we’re saving the summer box office a second time?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 got the 2017 blockbuster season off to a terrific start with $145 million at the domestic box office this weekend, rocketing past the original’s debut by 54% and grabbing the second-best bow of the year behind Beauty and the Beast ($174.7 million), according to estimates from Comscore.

The Fast & Furious franchise has been called the unofficial summer-season starter despite its traditional mid-April date, and The Fate of the Furious scored just under $100 million for its debut, the smaller part of its record worldwide debut. But for box-office purists putting a pin in the start of summer moviegoing season, it’s gotta be May.

And what a great start for Marvel, which has owned the month’s first weekend for a solid decade now. Vol. 2 boasts the sixth-best May opening ever, proving that the Guardians who originally debuted in August are worthy of Marvel’s marquee launch date (the first part of mega-teamup Infinity War will bow in this spot next year).

Factor in Guardians‘ international markets, many of which opened last week, and the film is already pushing half-a-billion worldwide, with a global cume of $427.6 million through Sunday.

It didn’t have much competition: Fate of the Furious held on for second place in its fourth weekend in theaters, earning $8.5 million and ringing the $200 million bell ($207.1 million) in North America. F&F is tipping toward a major international play as the franchise ages; it’s made $950 million everywhere else in the world, far outpacing the roughly 50/50 split that most Hollywood blockbusters still see these days.

Third place belonged to The Boss Baby, which milked $6.2 million from North American theaters in its sixth weekend. And in fourth place, Lionsgate’s How to be a Latin Lover wooed $5.25 from domestic audiences, giving it a strong $20.7 million over its 10-day run.

Bringing it all back to Disney, Beauty and the Beast posted $4.9 million to round out the top 5. The biggest film of 2017 so far, putting it at $487.6 million in North America the 8th highest grossing film of all time (swimming past Finding Dory).

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