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Monday Mixer: Marvel continues to kick butt

Posted Monday, August 4, 2014 at 1:23 PM Central

by John Couture

It's hard to believe, but it's only been six years since the original Iron Man came out, kicking off phase one of Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU). In that time, the upstart comic book company turned film studio has ruled the box office.

So, it really shouldn't be much of a surprise then when another one of their films, Guardians of the Galaxy, topped the box office this weekend, but it was the way in which it did so that opened some eyes. While it seems like no-brainer in hindsight, Guardians of the Galaxy was the first real gamble by Marvel and it has paid off in a big, big way.

This isn't Captain America or The Incredible Hulk, no this film is led by a talking racoon, a tree and the guy who was, until recently, best known as Anna Faris' husband. And yet, this is exactly the film that we were waiting for and didn't even realize it.

Of course, that too should be obvious in hindsight. We love our antiheroes after all and if you pluck a nice leather vest and a blaster holster from that galaxy far, far away, Chris Pratt could pass well as a young Han Solo.

But alas, I'm getting ahead of myself. Grab a cup of Joe and join me in the Mixer.

Box Office 411

As we mentioned above, Guardians of the Galaxy top down the top spot easily by raking in $94 million. Not only did it destroy the previous August record ($69.3 million by The Bourne Ultimatum), but it also blew away even the most optimistic predictions made by the "experts."

It's funny, but even Variety mused that Guardians of the Galaxy may be marvel's most important movie, which might be a stretch, but not by much. Think about it. It's like The Avengers model but in reverse. They had individual films before the big team up, but in Guardians of the Galaxy we got the team up film first.

The brilliant part now comes when Marvel announces that some of those untitled releases are actually Guardians of the Galaxy spinoffs. I mean now we have to see a "Star-Lord" film or a Rocket/Groot origin story, right?

But that's in the future, for now we can settle for Guardians of the Galaxy stoking life back into an abysmal box office that has only seen one film open in excess of $100 million (Transformers: Age of Extinction). August is actually shaping up to be a pretty impressive month and it should easily become the highest grossing August of all time, but I still think that Guardians of the Galaxy will continue to fly high. When the dust settles, I see the latest Marvel hit making a cool $250 million.

In the "also ran" category, Get On Up, the James Brown biographical film, opened in third place with a distant $14 million. Of course, for that film, I'm thinking that's a pretty good opening, but it sucks to get swallowed up in another film's gigantic opening.

Quick Hitters

I think that's about all that's fit to print this week. Until next we meet, Mix Well!