A thief, an assassin, a murderer, a raccoon and a Groot walk into a movie ... and walk out with the biggest domestic opening weekend ever for an August film.
Beating even the raised expectations that came out after a strong Friday, "Guardians of the Galaxy" brought in an estimated $94 million at the North American box office this weekend. That blows away the previous record-holder for the top August domestic opener of all time -- 2007's “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which opened to $69.3 million. It's also the third best opening weekend of 2014, after "Transformers: Age of Extinction" ($100 million) and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" ($95 million), and the best opener this year by a non-sequel.
Overseas, "Guardians" has opened in roughly half of the foreign marketplace, bringing in an estimated $66.4 million for an estimated global total of $160.4 million.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" initially debuted in "Marvel Super-Heroes" #18 by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan in 1969. However, the team featured in the movie is based on the "Guardians of the Galaxy" comic that debuted in 2008, which was created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier. It teamed up several cosmic characters from the Marvel universe, including Star-Lord (created by Steve Englehart and Steve Gan in 1976), Rocket Raccoon (created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen in 1976), Groot (created by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Dick Ayers in 1960), Drax the Destroyer (created by Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin in 1973), and Gamora (created by Jim Starlin in 1975).
In other box office news, the movie that holds the distinction of having the top opening weekend of the year -- "Transformers: Age of Extinction" -- became the first film of 2014 to surpass the $1 billion mark globally.
Looking at the rest of the domestic box office estimates for this weekend, "Lucy" came in at No. 2 with $18.2 million, while the James Brown film "Get on Up" debuted with $14 million. "Hercules" landed at No. 4 with $10.7 million, while "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" rounded out the top five with $8.7 million.