‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Behind-the-Scenes Pics Celebrate Summer’s Top Film (Photos)

Meerkats and makeup on the set of the hit flick

James Gunn/Instagram

Like any great superhero team, the crew of “Guardians of the Galaxy” made a dramatic late surge to come out on top.

In this case, that meant a $17.6 million three-day gross to win the box office in its fourth weekend in theaters, which also made it the biggest hit of the summer in the United States, with $251 million in ticket sales.

Also read: How ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Brought Rocket Raccoon and Groot to Life

“The Marvel team started with a great story, told it with extraordinary characters and did so while making something that appeals to all: that right mix of action and humor against a backdrop of sweeping, epic scope,” Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis told TheWrap this weekend.

“The result was an extraordinarily original film that since it’s unlike anything folks have seen, stood out as such a fresh offering that people not only rushed to see it, they then became advocates for it and the word of mouth has delivered what we’ve seen through the run, including this return to the top,” Hollis added.

See video: Revel in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Full Dancing Groot Scene

It isn’t just a hit in the United States: James Gunn‘s kooky space opera has taken in $489 million globally already, with gigantic territories such as China, Germany and Japan still untapped. The flick — which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel — should do great business in those countries… especially if they follow Gunn on Instagram.

The director has not only traveled on behalf of his film and granted interviews to just about everyone, he’s spent a lot of time on social media, pumping up the flick with behind-the-scenes shots of the movie’s production in the U.K. Below, see some of his best (and goofiest):