Chris Pratt (‘Guardians 3’) dethrones Chris Pratt (‘Super Mario’) at the box office

A split image of Chris Pratt in a space costume, left, and the video-game character Mario in a red shirt and blue overalls
Chris Pratt stars in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
(Marvel Studios; Nintendo / Illuminaton)

It was a Chris Pratt versus Chris Pratt showdown at the box office this weekend as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” finally dethroned “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” in a promising lead-up to this year’s summer movie season.

Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” opened in first place at the domestic box office with $114 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. After a four-week streak at No. 1, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” came in second, adding $18.6 million for a North American cumulative of $518.1 million.

The latest “Guardians” installment matched early box-office projections, which anticipated that the film would make about $110 million in the United States and Canada. Internationally, the superhero flick amassed $168 million for a global cumulative of $282 million, according to studio estimates.


Writer-director James Gunn concludes his trilogy — and his Marvel stint — with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” an enjoyably eccentric caper and an especially harrowing origin story.

April 28, 2023

Rounding out the top three at the domestic box office this weekend was Warner Bros.’ “Evil Dead Rise,” which scared up $5.7 million in its third weekend for a North American total of $54.1 million.

Directed by new co-head of DC Studios James Gunn, Marvel’s latest offering reunites Star-Lord (Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket the raccoon (Bradley Cooper) for one last chaotic adventure through outer space.

The third and final “Guardians” movie notched the second biggest domestic opening of the franchise. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” launched at $145 million exactly six years ago; the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” bowed at $94 million in 2014.

The only other Marvel movie to launch this year so far, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” debuted at $104 million in February.

After two diverting ‘Ant-Man’ movies, the Paul Rudd-starring action-comedy franchise descends into gloppy-looking CGI overkill.

Feb. 14, 2023

Unlike “Quantumania,” however, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” fared well with critics, earning an 81% fresh rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The blockbuster also received an A-grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

“‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ has its own appreciable mean streak, to be sure, but that streak is still largely subordinated to sentimental franchise-finale demands,” writes Times film critic Justin Chang in his review.


“That may be a compromise, but it’s not a failure. For all the visual weirdness and misfit irreverence he pumped into these stories, Gunn’s obvious love for these characters has been the trilogy’s consistent and undeniable saving grace. And he notably doesn’t sell out that love as he brings those characters all to a conclusion, or at least a mid-franchise inflection point, that carries an ache of bittersweet feeling.”

Opening in wide release next weekend are Focus Features’ “Book Club: The Next Chapter” and Viva Pictures’ “Rally Road Racers.”