In the ridiculously verbally impressive "Rap God," Eminem demands: "You be Thor and I'll be Odin." Slim Shady had every right to draw that comparison, given that Em is about to dominate the album charts for the zillionth time while the mythological gods of Marvel Comics he name-checked have the box office on lock.
"Thor: The Dark World" is headed for a $90 million domestic debut, according to most industry projections. While the new "Thor" won't steal the biggest-movie-of-2013 crown from "Iron Man 3," it will reap the same type of sequel-boosting rewards from the $1.5 billion worldwide success of "Marvel's The Avengers."
"Thor" introduced Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding God of Thunder in 2011, opening with $66 million on its way to a $268 million worldwide haul. It also served as the introduction of Tom Hiddleston as the god of mischief, Loki, who became the scenery-chewing fan-favorite Big Bad of "The Avengers."
Hiddleston stole everyone's thunder at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, taking the stage in Hall H in character as Loki. This week, he grabbed the spotlight on the Internet, getting in his jammies for a slumber party with MTV's Josh Horowitz. He told Horowitz about the time he saw Hemsworth naked. And busted some moves.
Producers were wise to throw in a lot of extra screen time for Loki in "The Dark World," which has featured prominently in the marketing. A few script rewrites from "The Avengers" mastermind Joss Whedon and that extra helping of Loki all culminated in mostly positive reviews and a $109 million debut overseas.
Marvel true believers will be treated to five minutes of footage from next year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" at "The Dark World" 3-D showings, in addition to the already buzzed about (and by now expected) post-credits Easter Eggs. Fandango's pre-release tickets were in the same range as "Fast & Furious 6."
A debut north of the last James Bond movie's $90.5 million opening will give "The Dark World" the second-biggest November opening ever. (Beating "Skyfall" still wouldn't come close to toppling "The Twilight Saga: New Moon.")
With "Thor: The Dark World" the only major new release in theaters, the rest of the top five will be stuffed with familiar titles like "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," "Last Vegas," "Ender's Game" and the animated Thanksgiving-themed flick "Free Birds."