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Guardians of the Galaxy movie is already a big hit at the box office

As my partner Sean Rueter pointed out earlier today, there was initially some unease regarding the Guardians of the Galaxy film that hit theaters late last night with the idea that it would be a risk at the box office. Then reviews started coming in and they were nearly unanimous in their praise of the latest Marvel offering.

That includes Batista, credited under his real name, Dave Bautista, and his turn as Drax the Destroyer.

Well, any fear of the movie flopping has been erased, replaced with eager anticipation of just how big a hit it will ultimately be. has the word on early returns:

The Star Lord has arrived - I'm speaking not of the industry's new superstar Chris Pratt, but of writer/director James Gunn as Guardians Of The Galaxy has rocketed in late nights soaring to $11.2M which is north of Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s Thursday's for Disney/Marvel - and for the rest of the industry which is laying hopes that the summer offering will boost box office out of its slump. It started its late nights at 7 PM in roughly 80% to 85% of its total weekend runs or 3,260 to 3,400 locales. The Captain went onto gross $95M in its opening weekend. Guardians could easily do $40M tonight for an $80M to $90M+ weekend as the tracking with kids is very strong ... which means family moviegoing day should help boost the picture from being only fan front-loaded.

It was announced just last week at the San Diego Comic Con that a sequel is already in the works and will hit theaters in 2017. Batista will almost surely be finished up with his professional wrestling career by then, considering he returned this past January with a two-year contract.

He's already planning his retirement, one he knows is coming sooner rather than later.

Soon enough, he'll return to WWE but it's worth wondering how fans will receive him. With his earning such effusive praise for his portrayal of Drax, perhaps he'll be the babyface they wanted him to be but couldn't when he won the Royal Rumble.

Will you cheer Batista when he comes back?

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