"Guardians of the Galaxy" soared to $37.8 million in ticket receipts at the box office on Friday.
After grossing $11.2 million in Thursday evening showings, the film continued its successful streak during its opening weekend.
Though analysts initially forecast an opening weekend of $70 million to $75 million, many now predict "Guardians" could potentially orbit to $90 to $100 million.
Director James Gunn's "Guardians," starring Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Zoe Saldana, is the latest release from Disney's Marvel Studios, the unit behind blockbuster franchises such as “Iron Man,” “Thor,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers.”
"Guardians" topped the start for Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which grossed $10.2 million in its Thursday release. It also beat the start for "Godzilla" ($9.3 million), "Transformers: Age of Extinction" ($8.75 million) and "Amazing Spider-Man 2" ($8.7 million).
The film, which cost about $170 million to make, opened in 4,080 theaters. So far it's been a big hit. On Rotten Tomatoes, it averaged 92% on the "tomatometer" and 96% of audiences said they wanted to see it, as of Saturday.
"Clearly, Marvel is a magic word at the box office right now," Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.
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