Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is posting a solid hold in its second weekend, earning an industry-estimated $59 million to hold its drop from its $118 million opening weekend to 50%, the best percentage hold for any Marvel film released since theaters reopened.
That is better than the 54% drop that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” fell by in its second weekend in May 2017, though that was from a higher opening weekend of $146.5 million to a $65 million second frame. “Guardians Vol. 3” is very unlikely to match the $389 million domestic total of “Vol. 2,” though the film is still on pace to reach at least $300 million in North America.
“Guardians Vol. 3” is also demonstrating a significantly stronger hold than the near 70% drop that “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” suffered earlier this year and is even beating the $46.6 million second weekend of “Thor: Love and Thunder” last July. It’s a sign that the film’s strong word-of-mouth is taking root among moviegoers who are not hardcore Marvel fans, and that could help “Guardians Vol. 3” sustain itself even as it loses premium format support to “Fast X” and “The Little Mermaid” in the coming weekends.
Elsewhere on the charts, Universal/Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is continuing to show “Top Gun: Maverick”-esque legs thanks to continued turnout from families, dropping just 28% in its sixth weekend to $13.3 million. That will push the record-breaking title’s total to $536 million domestic and over $1.2 billion worldwide, putting it less than $30 million away from passing “Incredibles 2” for the No. 4 spot on the all-time animation box office charts.
In third is Focus Features’ “Book Club: The Next Chapter,” which is opening on the low end of pre-release projections with a $7 million launch from 3,508 locations. That is slightly more than half of the $13.5 million opening that the first “Book Club” earned when it was released by Paramount in 2018.
Reception for the “Book Club” sequel has been mixed among critics with a 47% Rotten Tomatoes score. It did better with audiences with a B on CinemaScore and an 85% RT audience score, and Focus is banking on stronger-than-expected turnout on Sunday from older female audiences looking to spend a Mothers Day at the movies.