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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 just had the best Marvel test screening ever

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 just had the best Marvel test screening ever

Although it won’t be out until May 5, 2017, Marvel has begun to host test screenings for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Marvel test screens all its movies early, so that isn’t uncommon. What is strange, however, is how well the film did. It scored a perfect 100 out of 100, making it the highest scoring Marvel movie to date.

That’s an impressive and encouraging score, but when it comes to test screenings you should always take the results with a grain of salt. If the test film scores poorly, the filmmakers have time to make changes – plus, test screening usually choose completely random people, so if it’s a genre film the audience in the test screening may not be the target. When it comes to a good score you should be even more skeptical.

Test screenings aren’t like a normal early screening. They tend to have partially completed effects, the music they use may be a placeholder, there could be some scenes left out because of planned reshoots, etc., etc. While that may seem like a negative, it actually lets audiences forgive a lot of the shortcomings they see. If the story, acting, and dialog is good, audiences at test screenings generally overlook the rest.

Marvel also stacks the deck when it comes to its test screenings. Most early looks at film are filled with people randomly selected at places like a mall. Agents walk up and ask people if they want to see a secret movie, they shuttle them off to a private screening, often give them a nice lunch, and after they watch the screening they ask them to fill out an in-depth questionnaire. The results help to inform the studio how to market, if there need to be reshoots, and more. Studios frequently have the audiences sign non-disclosure forms too.

With Marvel, the studio generally brings in friends and family to do the test screenings. The reason for this is debatable, but keeping the storylines secret probably plays a huge role. That might skew the test results a little higher than if a random audience were picking apart the movie.

Regardless of the reasons and the situation, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 did very well. It scored a perfect 100, making it the highest rated Marvel movie to date. Granted, that score is really only comparable to other Marvel movies given the way the studio hosts audience screenings, but that still means it scored better than the first Guardians, Avengers, and every other Marvel movie over the past decade.

No matter the scenario, that’s encouraging news.  It’s by no means a foolproof indication that the film will be universally loved by audiences, but if Guardians can outscore Avengers, that’s a good sign.



Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.