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.