Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was already expected to be a huge hit this summer, but we got even more proof of this notion earlier this week, when fans voted the Guardians 2 Super Bowl trailer as the best movie commercial that aired during the big game. Today we have word that this superhero sequel accomplished a Marvel first, months before the movie even hits theaters. Insiders claim that, during a recent test screening, the sequel earned a rare and possibly unprecedented perfect score of 100. Marvel's approach to the test screening process is a bit different from other studios', but it is still the first time a Marvel movie has ever scored 100.
While it isn't clear when and where the test screening took place, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that most other studios recruit random people for their test screenings at grocery stores and supermarkets in Los Angeles, but Marvel holds what they call "friends and family screenings." While the testing pool is said to be "larger than one might think," it is also done this way to prevent any spoilers or footage from the screening from leaking. Marvel has employed this process since the first Iron Man back in 2008.
Although this is definitely a positive outcome, studio executives and producers caution against putting too much stock into test screening scores, because they are often not entirely indicative of what makes a hit movie, and what doesn't. One unidentified producer called test screenings, "a single tool" in a studio's large toolbox, and there have often been critical and box office hits that suffered from low testing scores. The 1988 classic Pretty Woman only scored a 70 in its test screening, before earning $463 million worldwide, and the 2010 critically-acclaimed thriller Black Swan scored a 55 before Natalie Portman won an Oscar for that movie. Still, since Marvel Studios conducts their test screenings in a much different way, their results can't really be compared to other movies in the traditional test screening process.
Another possible indication of this sequel's success is that it broke a Marvel trailer view record when the first trailer was released in December, amassing 81 million views in the first 24 hours. The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive hit to the tune of $773 million worldwide in 2014, although before its release, many insiders predicted that this movie, based on obscure Marvel comics characters, may just be Marvel Studios' first ever flop. Naturally, that didn't happen, with fans around the world embracing these quirky cosmic characters. In just a few months, they'll be returning to the theaters in droves to see this new adventure.
The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 cast is lead by Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon and Vin Diesel as Groot. New cast members include Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet, Star-Lord's father, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Chris Sullivan as Taserface and Tommy Flanagan as Tullk. Sylvester Stallone also has a mysterious role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which hasn't been revealed yet, but hopefully we'll learn more about his role, and the story as a whole, between now and the May 5 release date.