Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 has officially broken the Hollywood curse surrounding sequels.
Kicking off Hollywood's summer movie season with a bang, the epic film, which was based on the hit Marvel comic series of the same title, follows the action-packed adventures of Star-Lord, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), and his intergalactic gang of oddballs and misfits — Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel).
A Smash Hit Again
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 wows with a blockbuster opening of $145 million in North America - 54 percent higher compared with its first release in 2014, which earned $94 million during its first week.
According to experts, the latest Marvel movie delivered the second biggest opening of the year so far, closely trailing behind Disney's latest live-action fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, which pulled in $174.8 million in ticket sales.
No other major film release was seen on the horizon this weekend.
No 'Sequel-itis' For 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2'
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has somehow broken the chain of underperforming sequels, which was evident in the previous summer releases in 2016.
"We spent a lot of time looking at sequels and the idea of sequel-itis," David Hollis, distribution chief for Disney, told Fox News, blaming poor quality as the number one issue why sequels ultimately flop.
A good example of this would be Vin Diesel's The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment spawned from the 2001 action film The Fast and the Furious, which came lagging behind with $8.5 million even in its fourth week in theaters.
The Secret Ingredient To Sequels
Written and directed again by James Gunn, the latest Marvel film was given an A CinemaScore rating from audiences and an 82 percent "fresh" rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
"I made a decision early on that I wanted it to be a hundred percent a James Gunn movie and a hundred percent a Marvel movie," Gunn shared after the first film's release. "I didn't want it to be a compromise. I wanted to make a great Marvel movie that I wanted to see ... that had my personality in it."
Hollis revealed that he believes high-quality storytelling and high-quality world-creation is the secret recipe to great movies, sequel or not.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Gunn thanked everyone who supported his film. Him doing what he does — for a reason other than money — in a way asserts Hollis' point.
"I work because I like telling stories. I work because I love the relationships I have with my collaborators. And I do it because I like connecting with people, and the easiest way I know how to do that is through filmmaking," Gunn shared. "I do it so that some kid in Thailand, or England, or Colombia, or Brazil, or Japan, or Russia, or anywhere, can hear the frequency of his or her own heart bouncing back off the Guardians."