‘Guardians’ rockets to top of box office with $94M

This image released by Disney - Marvel shows, from left, Zoe Saldana, the character Rocket Racoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, the character Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista in a scene from "Guardians of the Galaxy." The movie releases on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Disney - Marvel)
This image released by Disney - Marvel shows, from left, Zoe Saldana, the character Rocket Racoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, the character Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista in a scene from "Guardians of the Galaxy." The movie releases on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Disney - Marvel)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Guardians of the Galaxy” blasted past expectations at the weekend box office.

Studio estimates Sunday show Marvel’s cosmic romp starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana as members of an intergalactic band of mercenaries earned $94 million in its debut weekend.

Box office analysts initially projected the comic book adaptation would earn between $60 million and $75 million in North America.

The launch shatters the record for the biggest opening of a film in August and makes “Guardians” the third largest opening in 2014.

“Guardians” distributor Disney says the film hauled in an additional $66.4 million in international territories.

Marvel announced at Comic-Con in San Diego earlier this month that a “Guardians” sequel will be released in 2017.

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