August 4, 2014 7:45 am

‘Guardians’ blasts to top of weekend box office

LOS ANGELES – Guardians of the Galaxy blasted past expectations at the weekend box office.

The cosmic romp starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana as members of an intergalactic band of rebels earned $94 million in its debut weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Ahead of its Friday debut, box office analysts initially projected that the comic book adaptation would earn between $60 million and $75 million in North America.

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The launch gives Guardians the biggest opening for an August film, a record previously held by the $69.2 million debut of 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum. It also makes Guardians the third largest opening of 2014, coming behind the $95 million inauguration of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the $100 million launch of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Guardians also features Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voicing the computer-generated characters Rocket Raccoon and Groot.

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In a distant second place, Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman with mind-bending powers, nabbed $18.3 million in its second weekend, bringing the release’s domestic total to $80 million.

Meanwhile, James Brown biopic Get on Up featuring Chadwick Boseman as the soulful singer opened in third place with $14 million.

Hercules was fourth with $10.7 million and in fifth was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which added $8.7 million to its haul.

© The Associated Press, 2014

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