'Guardians of the Galaxy' to boost the summer box office?

Sarah Rappaport, special to CNBC

It hasn't been a blockbuster summer for the film industry so far, with no film in the U.S. cracking the $300-million mark in box-office takings over the period – which is usually one of the busiest of the year.

The summer's biggest hit so far was "Transformers: Age of Extinction", with a domestic gross of $237 million, according to Box Office Mojo. By comparison, 2013's "Iron Man 3" earned $409 million, and Marvel's "The Avengers" was a runaway success, earning more than $623 million at the U.S. box office in 2012.

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To date, 2014 has been the worst for the film industry in six years, according to Box Office Mojo.

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"For whatever reason, (the box office in) 2014 hasn't worked the way people expected," IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond told CNBC. IMAX, which has 837 theatres across the world, specializes in large-format and immersive cinema.

As a result, hopes for a box-office bump from Disney-owned Marvel's latest offering—"Guardians of the Galaxy"—are riding high. The film, which is released this weekend, stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, and is directed by James Gunn.

"Guardians" has received positive reviews, with a 93 percent "fresh rating" on Rotten Tomatoes. Entertainment journalist Kara Warner tweeted that the film was "the most fun I've had watching a movie this year…so wonderfully entertaining and just beautiful."

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In fact, Disney is so confident in the film they have announced a sequel even before its release, breaking the news at Comic-Con.

Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images

"Audiences like it. People will be surprised at its results," said IMAX's Gelfond, who also downplayed the summer slowdown in box office takings.

"The movie business has been around for over a hundred years - there are good years and bad years," he said. "Every time there are two good movies in a row, everybody says it's back, but if there's a downturn, people say it's over."

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But things are looking up, with experts forecasting an uptick in box office returns next year.

"2015 and 2016 are looking like very robust years, with a whole slew of blockbusters coming along" Gelfond said.

While Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, wrote in a blog post that the summer of 2015 could be the biggest on record, and the first to cross the $5-billion revenue mark.

"Ultimately, the movie business is one of the most cyclical businesses and uptrends/downtrends are the nature of the beast," he said.

Films including "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Jurassic World" will hit the big screen next summer.

- By Sarah Rappaport, CNBC assistant producer. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahRapp