Box Office Opening Weekend for Guardians of the Galaxy

Last weekend Marvel Studios released the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to rave reviews and a record-breaking opening gross for August. According to Forbes, it's the third biggest opening of the year after Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Transformers: Age of Extinction, each pulling in $95 million and $100 million, respectively. Even so, the biggest game launches dwarf Guardians' figures by eightfold or more.

For the past few years, the annual Call of Duty releases have posted some very impressive figures, and last year GTA: V also managed $800 million for its opening day. Even when accounting for the gap between average US movie ticket prices ($7.96 as of this year) and retail games (typically $60), GTA and pals come out ahead for total audience. If we assume that no one went back to see the film twice and that the average ticket price was $7.96, then 11.8 million people saw the movie between Thursday and Sunday. In just 24 hours though, GTA V pulls in 13.3 million. Even the biggest film release ever – 2012's The Avengers – only made $80.5 million on its opening day. By 2013 ticket prices, that comes out to just over 9.6 million viewers.

Video games may still have a ways to go until they achieve the cultural impact of film, but the numbers don't lie – they are already one of the biggest economic forces in today's media landscape.