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'Guardians' Saves the Summer Box Office

Director James Gunn discusses the film’s success and what’s in store for the sequel

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After a lackluster blockbuster season, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy surprised pretty much everyone by taking in $94 million in its opening weekend. Among the amazed? Director James Gunn. ”We started the week thinking it was going to do between $65 million and $68 million,” he admits. ”I’m getting thousands of tweets a day from people who love the movie. It is an amazing feeling.”

Much of the Guardians chatter has concerned the post-credits cameo by Howard the Duck, star of a beloved Steve Gerber-penned ’70s comic and the much-less-enjoyed 1986 film. So what’s he doing there? ”When I was a kid I loved the comics,” says Gunn. ”I had a Howard the Duck painting up in my bedroom across from a Dawn of the Dead poster.” (He adds, ”A mash-up of those two movies would be great.”)

Gunn spent last weekend working on the script for Guardians 2, which is set for release on July 28, 2017, and will likely reveal the father of Chris Pratt’s character, Star-Lord. The director says, ”There’s a good chance we’ll discover that.”