Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 surpassed $500 million and Quantumania as James Gunn’s MCU Swan Song dominates the second weekend box office.

After years of delays, the woes surrounding the firing and reinstatement of James Gunn, and the current doldrums in MCU films, there was a very good chance it would Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 would be a complete mess. This is the weird world of modern cinema, however, and that means the latest film in the current Guardians franchise didn’t crash and burn, but was a smashing success, both critically and grossly. To prove it, the film passed over the weekend Ant-Man and the Wasp: QuantumaniaIt ranked second among the highest-grossing films of 2023 in terms of total box office grossing, while also surpassing the $500 million mark.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 completes the story that James Gunn began nearly a decade ago, and while the original film brought a cast of relatively unknown characters to the MCU, the film began a journey that MCU fans were quick to embrace. Now, 9 years later, Gunn has ended his trilogy on a massive note, giving Marvel Studios possibly one of their biggest hits of the last three years.

While box office success is one thing, reviews have also been way better than some other MCU offerings. Currently, the film has a Rotten Tomatoes critic rating of 81% and an audience rating of 96%. This is all good news for Gunn and his new venture at DC Studios, as it shows that Gunn can do what so many others have failed to do when it comes to making crowd-favorite comic book films. His next test will come with his version of Superman, which is a completely different ball game to win.

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3: All the potential offshoots the film suggests

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 boosted the MCU’s post-pandemic box office earnings.

Cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been a box office flop. Even films that were slammed by critics and failed to fully engage audiences, such as Thor: Love and Thunder have done what they had to do and outperformed the vast majority of film releases in the wake of the Covid shutdowns.

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3the MCU has proven that despite the poor performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania As of February, there was still no sign of “superhero fatigue” and it’s more because fans are deciding which films to see in theaters and which ones to see on Disney+ shortly thereafter. There’s no doubt that the arrival of Disney’s streaming platform has had an impact on box office returns, and not just for Marvel movies but for all Disney offerings, and that could mean that some MCU movies aren’t doing that anymore do as well as they did four years ago.

However, unlike last year, Marvel Studios’ output is far from becoming a box-office bomb Morbid – and that is the most important thing to take away from this latest achievement. Can Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 keep pushing towards the $1 billion club? It’s not out of the question.

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