Guardians of the Box Office

It’s been a topic of discussion in comics-geek circles for a while now: What can we expect from the upcoming film, Guardians of the Galaxy? Originally, this was not a question of movie quality, as every Marvel film has been, at worst, entertaining and fun. Most of us expect no less here—though some of the early reviews calling it the best Marvel film ever have raised more than a few eyebrows, including my own. (Really? Better than Avengers? That would be a hell of a feat.)

But no, originally this was a question of business. How much money might this movie pull in? It’s an intriguing question; one that I believe will prove a test of the Marvel film brand. All of their previous films featured characters (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Avengers) that were read and loved by millions in their comic-book form twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty years ago. Guardians of the Galaxy, however, is based (at least this iteration) on a comic book series that it got its start less than ten years ago and was/is read and loved by a relatively meager audience in the tens of thousands. It will not have the same nostalgia factor for the general public, nor the years of built-up goodwill. If the film takes off into $100+ mil territory, that’s going to speak very well of the Marvel brand. If it bombs, naturally, that will also say a lot. If it falls into the middle somewhere, well. . . there will be a lot of room for debate.

Personally, I’m looking forward to it. Firstly, Guardians was among the rare modern comics series I actually enjoyed, at least at first. I also believe there will be a lot of Easter Eggs in it for the comics übergeeks like myself—including a cameo from a certain famous (or perhaps infamous) mallard of Marvel & movie fame from years ago. If he appears after the end credits, as is rumored, my squeals of joy will ring out of the Maplewood Theatre and be heard all the way out on the west coast by the last few stragglers from San Diego Comicon.

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