Prior to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy becoming the highest grossing movie of 2014, most of the large internet sites were predicting that Marvel would crash and burn with the movie. Since, obviously, the only Marvel characters people care about are Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the X-Men no one would turn up to see this ragtag group of space misfits in a light-hearted adventure.
I don’t think the internet was ever so wrong about how a movie would fare at the box office as they were about Guardians of the Galaxy. Here is just a small selection of some of the doom and gloom comic fans had to deal with before Guardians of the Galaxy lit the box office on fire in August:
Hollywood.com “‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Teaser Reminds Us How Big a Risk This Movie Is Going to Be” – February 14, 2014:
The thing is, the Avengers aren’t coming (not even Hawkeye, and we know he’s not doing anything important). The Guardians of the Galaxy is a team that lies on the far out fringes of Marvel’s comic book universe, way outside Avengers jurisdiction. They are a ragtag group of warriors, bastards, and runaways that seek to make the universe a brighter and better place. And that’s all fine and good, but does the average moviegoer really care?
The Hollywood Reporter: “Why ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Is the Riskiest Marvel Film Since ‘Iron Man'” – February 19, 2014
That’s not so true for the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not only is this particular version of the team relatively recent — they first came together under that title in 2008 — but it hadn’t been a particular success the first time around, with the first Guardians series being canceled after two years due to low sales (Although the characters have made appearances in Marvel’s animated series, those appearances came after the movie was announced, in an attempt to build audience awareness).
Guardians is the riskiest Marvel Studios project since the first Iron Man for that very reason.
MTV: “â€˜Guardians Of The Galaxyâ€™: Two Years Away From Marvelâ€™s Biggest Risk” – August 1, 2012
Two of the five key heroes at the heart of the â€œGuardiansâ€ roster are a talking raccoon and a huge, powerful, walking tree. Seeing Rocket and Groot on screen could be an incredible sight to behold. But if Marvel doesnâ€™t lock in a visionary director, and if the visual effects masterminds take even the briefest of cat naps on the job, these two heroes are going to look tragically laughable, sending the movie into a black hole from which thereâ€™s no escape.
Variety: “â€˜Guardians of the Galaxyâ€™ a Risk Worth Taking for Marvel” – July 23, 2014
Marvelâ€™s latest screen heroes are not well known to most moviegoers, so the film lacks the kind of built-in fan base that makes such iconic characters as Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men automatic box office draws.
So what movie will the internet’s failure predictions be wrong about next time? Ant Man?