guardians of the galaxy box officeAfter months of buzz, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is finally making its theatrical debut this weekend, and box office prognosticators are predicting a big haul for the Marvel flick.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that "Guardians" is currently on pace to score a $65 million opening weekend total, though some industry analysts say that number could reach as high as $70 million. That would make it the highest-grossing August debut of all time, surpassing reigning champ "The Bourne Ultimatum," which bowed to $69.2 million back in 2007. Number two on the August debuts list is "Rush Hour 2," clocking in at $67.4 million in 2001.

The superhero flick is certainly gunning for the top spot, opening in 4,080 theaters -- the widest August release ever. It's also set to open in a number of international markets this weekend, positioning itself for a big take worldwide over the next few days.

Director James Gunn told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview that "Guardians," starring a rag-tag group of superheroes, is different from Marvel's other team-up franchise, "The Avengers."

"It's much more of a space opera than a superhero movie," Gunn told THR.

Marvel is no doubt banking on that quirky appeal to garner audience interest, and help lift the flagging movie business out of a recent downturn in ticket sales.

"Guardians of the Galaxy," starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro, opens Friday.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

CATEGORIES Movies, Box Office