Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn has penned an open letter to fans thanking them for helping to propel the superhero film to the top of the North American box office.

The movie, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel, earned $94 million (£55.3 million) in its opening weekend (01-03Aug14) across the U.S. and Canada, and now the filmmaker has taken to to express his gratitude to moviegoers.

He writes, "Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart.

"The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It's for all of us who don't belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we're doing okay.

"I am of course happy with all the film has accomplished box-office-wise. But what touches me the most is that the film I told the folks at Marvel I wanted to make two years ago is the film that you're seeing in theaters today - it's that so many of you seem to be directly Experiencing the film I Intended... And for that, I am profoundly grateful..."

Guardians of the Galaxy also proved to be a big hit around the world, raking in a further $66.4 million (£39 million) outside North America.