Sunday, May 26, 2024

Comparing Himself to Jesus May Have Helped Chris Pratt Give “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” a Box Office Jolt


No question “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” is a hit. On its first weekend, it cleaned up.

But coming around the corner into Monday, “GOTG3” was running $30-$35 million behind the second installment from 2017. If that had continued, the final episode of Chris Pratt and his rag tag gang would have fallen further behind.

And then came a quote in the New York Post from the red carpet of a screening in New York. Pratt compared himself to Jesus. Pratt was asked if he felt attacked over his religious beliefs.

“That’s the way it is, nothing new, 2,000 years ago they hated him [Jesus], too,” Pratt told Page Six. The quote was published last Sunday, but it took a couple of days to migrate through the media that takes in “ET,” “Access Hollywood,” and all the aggregators.

In the middle of the week, “GOTG3” was lackluster. But when the story set in, “GOTG3” popped. The result is a $60 million weekend. The movie is still lagging behind its predecessor, but it’s suddenly picked up steam. Jesus turns out to be quite the influencer.

Pratt has positioned himself as a Good Ol Boy, strong on religion and conservative values. (How he functions as Maria Shriver’s son-in-law beats me, but Arnold Schwarzenegger loves him.)

Did Pratt know what he was saying would have this effect on box office sales? The answer is, he probably knew, given his fans that it wouldn’t hurt.

Still, “Guardians 3” is now at $213 million. “Guardians 2” was at $248 million. So Pratt may have to call in the apostles next.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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