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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Blows Estimates Away With Potential $95-98 Million Opening Weekend

Originally projected to gross between $65-70 million, the latest Marvel film is surpassing predictions with a record-breaking Thursday gross of $11.2 million, and nearly $40 million on Friday

Thanks to good word-of-mouth and a healthy marketing push, Marvel and Disney have a huge hit on their hands with James Gunn‘s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Latest estimates have it on track to bring in between $95-98 million over its opening weekend, which could surpass “Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s” $95.023 million.

Also read: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Reviews: Is Chris Pratt’s Goofy Space Romp Out of This World?

The unusual sci-fi/superhero film was an uncertainty in the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, but appears to have more than earned its already-greenlit sequel, set for 2017. The film already set the best Thursday debut of the year with $11.2 million, and is on pace for a nearly $40 million Friday.

Should it best “Captain America” for the weekend, “GotG” would sit behind only “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” with its $100 million opener, as the second-highest grossing film of the year. That said, it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility that “Guardians” could finish even higher.

Also read: What’s Next After ‘Guardians of the Galaxy': 11 More Offbeat Marvel Heroes Who Deserve Their Own Movies

It’s currently sitting at a 91 percent positive rating with Rotten Tomatoes, and experiencing good word of mouth. With a talking raccoon and tree counted among its main characters, the film has a huge potential appeal to children and families, which could generate smaller than average Saturday and Sunday declines, boosting its overall total.