"Guardians of the Galaxy" blasted past expectations at the weekend box office. Marvel Studios' cosmic romp starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista as members of an intergalactic band of rebels earned $94 million in its debut weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. "Guardians," which also features Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voicing the computer-generated characters Rocket Raccoon and Groot, was originally considered a risky proposition for Marvel and "Guardians" distributor Walt Disney Co. because it features more obscure characters from the Marvel universe and is set almost entirely in outer space.
TOP 10: OUTER SPACE MOVIES OF ALL TIME
1. '2001: A Space Odyssey' ( 1968 )- No one has ever treated space with the reverence and awe that Kubrick did in this film, and even today, the movie remains a fascinating, beautiful exploration that people continue to argue about, enjoy, and lose themselves in, no small feat indeed for a 43 year old movie made at the height of the space race.
2. 'The Right Stuff' ( 1983 )- This extraordinary film paints a vivid, lively, rowdy picture of the men who took the first steps to reach space, the Mercury 7, and the first astronauts.
3. 'Alien'- ( 1979 )- Sure, space travel would be all about slack-jawed awe and wonderment for a bit, but throw in a freaky alien creature with acid for blood that deposits chest-bursting baby aliens that grow quickly and attack without mercy? Then you have a recipe for what is one of the most terrifying, but also evocative, movies ever made.
4. 'Star Wars' ( 1977 )- George Lucas and his wizards at ILM brought a three-dimensionality to space that had been touched upon in "2001," but in a much subtler manner. "Star Wars" displayed galactic warfare as a WWI dogfight on an epic scale. And the world of cinema hasn't been the same since.
5. 'Apollo 13' ( 1995 )- "Apollo 13" is a based on a true story tale about three men trapped in space who are running out of oxygen and have no idea if they'll ever make it back to Earth, a dramatic science fiction thriller if ever there was one.
6. 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' ( 1980)- The entire subplot involving Han Solo and Princess Leia features some of the best space scenes in the series, and the chase in the asteroid belt has been imitated endlessly since it first rocked theaters in 1980.
7. 'Gravity' ( 2013 )- It may be set in outer space, but is remarkably contained. There are no flying saucers or little green men here, just a worryingly feasible disaster in orbit that leaves astronaut Ryan Stone stranded miles above the Earth.
8. 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' ( 1982 )- Embracing, rather than ignoring, the advancing age of the crew, and confronting them with a foe from their past in the form of Ricardo Montalban’s Khan, the film builds on themes of revenge and sacrifice. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” indeed.
9. 'Avatar' ( 2009 )- Forget the “Dances with Smurfs” jokes; if anything, Avatar is riffing on pulp sci-fi classics like John Carter of Mars – in which a human soldier is transported via astral projection to another planet, gains superpowers and falls in love with a local girl.
10. 'Guardians of the Galaxy'- ( 2014 )- It was originally considered a risky proposition for Marvel and "Guardians" distributor Walt Disney Co. because it features more obscure characters from the Marvel universe and is set almost entirely in outer space.