When filming was wrapping on Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, star Chris Pratt was seen in a wrap video emphatically praising the cast and crew, and proclaiming that they’d all made something extremely special. Obviously you’re gonna feel good about your own team, but it sounds like Pratt’s word is gold. The test screening process for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 is underway, and THR reports that the film has garnered an extremely rare—possibly unprecedented—perfect score of 100 out of 100.
To put that into comparison, per Marvel’s internal comps, the studio’s previous highest scorers were Iron Man 3 and The Avengers, both of which tested in the high 90s. Marvel has employed the same internal test screening process since the first Iron Man, which involves culling from a select pool of recruiters for “friends and family screenings” instead of calling upon random people in the general public to see the movie. This helps keep the studio’s secrets under wraps and prevents potential leaks, but it also means that the test screening scores of Marvel movies can’t really be compared to the test screening scores of non-Marvel movies.
And, since these test screenings are done internally, there’s a “grain of salt” that should be taken with the number—presumably the folks seeing the film are either Marvel employees or at least acquaintances of the filmmakers, so there’s a “home team advantage” that could be taken into account despite the fact that one imagines they try to be as objective as possible.
Still, when comparing this 100 score to other Marvel movies that were tested under the same process, this is mighty exciting. James Gunn wrote and directed the highly anticipated sequel, and he’s said time and time again that he was given no mandate from Marvel regarding what should and should not be in the movie. Thus, he was able to craft a follow-up directly from the heart, and the story he settled upon is one that involves the search for Peter Quill’s (Pratt) real father, played by Kurt Russell.
While the scores aren’t comparable, it should be noted that the test screening process is also sometimes unreliable. Black Swan never scored about a 55 and yet nabbed a number of Oscar nominations and a win for Natalie Portman, and Pretty Woman tested in the 70s before going on to become a bona fide classic.
So, all that said, we shouldn’t take this reported test score as a golden stamp guarantee that Guardians 2 is going to be amazing, nor should we discount it entirely. It’s an encouraging piece of trivia on the road of anticipation towards the film’s May 5th release date.