‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Soars, ‘Love Again’ Sinks at Box Office

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Love Again (Credit: Marvel and Sony)

The numbers are in and newcomer Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 flew high, while Love Again flopped in its debut at the box office.

Guardians kicked off the summer movie season in first place after making an estimated $114.0 million domestic debut, according to Comscore.

The latest film in the Marvel franchise played in 4,450 locations, for a per theater average of $25,618.

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Chris Pratt leads the cast as Peter Quill, who rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own — a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.

The film also stars Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Will Poulter, Sean Gunn, Dave Bautista, Maria Bakalova, Chukwudi Iwuji, and is directed by James Gunn.

Audiences gave Guardians an “A” CinemaScore. Critics also embraced the film, which currently has an 81 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Elsewhere at the box office, last week’s leader The Super Mario Bros. Movie slipped to second place with $18.6 million. That brought its five-week domestic total to $518.1 million. Worldwide the film has made $1.1 billion.

Third place went to Evil Dead Rise, which earned $5.7 million in its third weekend in theaters.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret was fourth with $3.3 million in its second weekend.

Newcomer Love Again opened in fifth place after ringing up $2.4 million in ticket sales. The rom-com played in 2,703 locations for a per theater average of $897.

Making its disappointing landing less painful is the film’s reported production budget of $9 million.

The romantic dramedy centers on a grieving woman (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), who tries to ease the pain of her fiancé’s death by sending romantic texts to his old cell phone, and forms a connection with the man who now has the number.

The Sony/Screen Gems release also stars Sam Heughan and Céline Dion, playing herself — a global music icon.

Critics had little love for Love Again, giving it a 17 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Movie reviewer Carla Hay of Culture Mix described the film as “painfully unfunny, boring, and very outdated.”

A.A. Dowd of Houston’s Chron.com wrote, “Your heart will go on, and your eyes will look away in embarrassment.”

David Ehrlich of IndieWire added, “Most of the laugh lines in Love Again are stale enough that even just hearing them kind of hurts your teeth.”

Perhaps the film will find a little more love next weekend.

Check out the box office chart below from Comscore.

Box office chart for week ending May 7, 2023. (Credit: Comscore)