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Guardians Of The Galaxy rallies summer box office with $14m

Published on Aug 2, 2014 8:46 AM
(From left) Actors Lee Pace, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel attend The Cinema Society with Men's Fitness and FIJI Water special screening of Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy at Crosby Street Hotel on July 29, 2014 in New York City. -- PHOTO: AFP 

LOS ANGELES, Aug 1 (REUTERS) - The Guardians Of The Galaxy stormed into the box office with a $11.2 million (S$14 million) opening night, Walt Disney Co said on Friday, and could outperform expectations if it keeps drawing viewers with a new leading man, strong reviews and social media buzz. Guardians, the newest franchise from the Disney-owned Marvel universe, follows a rogue band of misfits on an intergalactic space adventure.

As the Guardians try to save the galaxy from a planet-destroying orb coveted by evil warlords, they may also "save the summer" for a slumping movie industry if the film exceeds expectations, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. "This is a movie that everyone has been waiting for," Mr Dergarabedian said.

Hollywood's summer box office has been in a funk, producing fewer blockbusters than usual and putting ticket sales 20 per cent behind last year at US$2.93 billion.

Early projections for the Guardians opening weekend at the US and Canadian box office were estimated to reach between US$65 million to US$80 million. Dergarabedian said the movie could beat those forecasts especially if Saturday's attendance holds strong.

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