For the third year in a row, Marvel kicks of the summer movie season with a new superhero sequel. In 2015, Marvel Studios unleashed Avengers: Age of Ultron in the first weekend in May, with Captain America: Civil War kicking of the summer movie box office season last year. This year, the studio unveils Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which had no trouble surpassing its predecessor Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million) with an opening weekend haul of $145 million. While the opening weekend is certainly a strong one, it did come slightly under projections.

Back in March, box office analysts predicted a $160 million box office opening weekend for Guardians 2, but it came in slightly under those projections. Still, the $145 million estimate, courtesy of Box Office Mojo, is a solid start to the summer movie season, with the movie earning an impressive $33,368 per-screen average from 4,347 theaters. Still, it falls far below The Avengers' $207.4 million debut in 2012, Avengers: Age of Ultron's $191.2 million mark in 2015 and last year's Captain America: Civil War debut of $179.1 million. We predicted it would open at $181.7 million, but it fall well short of that mark as well

The 4,347-theater rollout is the 10th largest of all time, with the movie falling just short of recent Marvel hits in terms of per-screen average as well. Captain America: Civil War opened in 4,226 theaters for a $42,390 per-screen average, while 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted in 4,276 theaters for a $44,731 per-screen average. While Guardians 2 fell short of those recent Marvel blockbusters, it was still a critical hit, earning an 81% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie didn't face any direct competition this weekend, which is becoming a trend for most Marvel movies.

This year not only marks the third year in a row that Marvel has started the summer movie season, but also the third year that a Marvel movie faced no competition. Both Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron didn't face any competition when they hit theaters in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The original Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which opened in the first week of August in 2014, debuted with $94.3 million, with only one new release competing against it, Universal's musical biopic Get On Up, which earned $13.5 million in a distant third place. However, it's brand new adventures like Doctor Strange, which opened against Trolls and Hacksaw Ridge, and Ant-Man, which debuted against Trainwreck, that don't seem to pose as much of a threat to rival studios.

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand. Original Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Vin Diesel (Baby Groot), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Sean Gunn (Kraglin) return, alongside franchise newcomers Sylvester Stallone (Starhawk), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha) and Kurt Russell (Ego the Living Planet)

Rounding out the top 10 is The Fate of the Furious ($8.5 million), The Boss Baby ($6.1 million), How to Be a Latin Lover ($5.2 million), Beauty and the Beast ($4.9 million), The Circle ($4 million), Baahubali: The Conclusion ($3.2 million), Gifted ($2 million), Going in Style ($1.9 million) and Smurfs: The Lost Village ($1.8 million). Also opening in limited release are The Weinstein Company's drama 3 Generations, which earned $20,118 from six theaters for a $3,353 per-screen avearge, The Orchard's thriller The Dinner, which earned $755,348 from 505 theaters for a $1,496 per-screen average, A24's romantic comedy The Lovers, which earned $70,410 from four theaters for a $17,603 per-screen average, and IFC's Chuck, which earned $40,416 from four theaters for a $10,104 per-screen average. No box office data was given for Argot Pictures' documentary Sacred and Well Go USA's romantic comedy This Is Not What I Expected. It remains to be seen if any of those projects will expand in the weeks to come.

Looking ahead to next weekend, Warner Bros. will roll out its fantasy adventure King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword, starring Charlie Hunnam, while 20th Century Fox debuts the Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched and Blumhouse Tilt rolls out Lowriders, starring Demian Bichir and Theo Rossi. Also opening in limited release is Atlas Distribution's Absolutely Anything, Vladar Company's Generation Iron 2, Sony Pictures Classics comedy Paris Can Wait, First Run's documentary Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe, Roadside Attracions' thriller The Wall and their romantic comedy The Wedding Plan and Arrow Films' Whiskey Galore. Take a look at the box office estimates for the weekend of May 5.

1Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
2The Fate of the Furious
3The Boss Baby
4How to Be a Latin Lover
5Beauty and the Beast
6The Circle
7Baahubali: The Conclusion
8Gifted
9Going in Style
10Smurfs: The Lost Village