'Guardians' sequel blasts off to $17M on opening night

That's not to say that Guardians of the Galaxyand its sequel are not connected at all to the MCU.

With many of these films successfully telling their own, self-contained stories, it is the MCU's larger narrative - one that's been sculpted and maintained for almost 10 years - that is all the more astounding to behold.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuted earlier in other territories, but it still brought in another $123.8 million to bring the overall worldwide total $427.6 million when including the United States total. With "Guardians of the Galaxy", Marvel pushed the envelope a bit, and I think they've pushed ever-so-slightly more this time around.

The original Guardians (2014) was like the class clown of superhero movies, if the class clown also had a strong heart and a supple brain lurking beneath the goofball exterior. Unlike his previous appearances, however, Lee's cameo strongly suggests a unified continuity, one confirmed by none other than Kevin Feige himself: All this time, Stan Lee has played Uatu, and the incredibly disinterested aliens he's talking to are the Watchers. There has been chatter of a Guardians of the Galaxy ride opening in Disney World's EPCOT since previous year, and it makes ideal sense. In some ways, Vol. 2 is truly a film about family, and the final half the movie does show a quasi-reconciliation between Gamora and Nebula. She spends much of the movie as a villain: She helps lead the mutiny against the gang while their prisoner, then jets off to try and kill her estranged sister, who's no less than Zoe Saldana's Gamora.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive content.

These scruffy characters love one another.

"Boy, oh boy, (writer-director James) Gunn wrote the role of a lifetime", he enthused when he visited Toronto this week to attend the Canadian premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And while it is not entirely clear what the plot of that film will be, especially because it will likely arrive after the next two Avengers films, it would not be surprising if it builds on some of the teases from Vol. 2. That's not to say that the sequel (and the new soundtrack) isn't good, but merely just shy of offering the same greatness that the first movie delivered.

Rob Zombie plays an unseen Ravager.

. Stakar Ogord, aka Starhawk, just happens to be a one-time member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. The Watchers, bored, walk away in one of the five post-credits scenes to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Some of you saw it last night.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" picks up shortly after the first film, with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) leading his odd band of mercenaries, who are now (somewhat) respected after previously saving the galaxy.

As for Adam Warlock, it is expected that he will be a big part of the Guardians universe going forward (though likely not as early as Avengers: Infinity War).

#JamesGunn revealed during an interview with USA Today that there was supposed to be a sixth post-credits scene. His initial goal, it seems, is to track down the Guardians so they can be punished for their indiscretions.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission BREAKOUT! will open in Disneyland's Disney's California Adventure during Memorial Day weekend, replacing the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror free-fall ride.

  • Anthony Vega