Leave it to the "God of Thunder" to make it rain.
"Thor: The Dark World" brought in an estimated $86.1 million over the weekend, putting the Marvel sequel several "realms" away from the competition. The new "Thor" ruled much of the rest of Midgard, er, Earth over the weekend, too. "Thor: The Dark World" opened a week earlier overseas, expanding over the weekend to the tune of $94 million for a foreign market total of $241 million.
Chris Hemsworth's latest swing-of-the-hammer won't reach the $1 billion-plus worldwide grosses of "The Avengers" or "Iron Man 3," but that certainly isn't much to complain about. Even with a price tag of $170 million (plus marketing), the second Marvel movie to follow in the wake of the gargantuan success of "The Avengers" is still a hit. Frankly, only in the high stakes world of superhero franchises can an $86 million opening (below Disney's own forecasts) be considered a disappointment.
The opening weekend for "The Dark World" was more than 31 percent that of its 2011 predecessor, "Thor." The sequel saw the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, as well as Tom Hiddleston's Loki and of course, Hemsworth. Audiences became more familiar with Loki and Thor thanks to "The Avengers," no doubt influencing the success of the second "Thor" film.
"Thor: The Dark World" also boasted a five-minute preview of next year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," as well as no less than two mid-credits/post-credits scenes and a surprise cameo (which the cast recently explained to MTV News). Audiences gave "The Dark World" a CinemaScore of A-. Reviews weren't as enthusiastic for this one as the last, but remained mostly positive.
Hemsworth will have to chow down on the massive amounts of chicken, steak, veggies and brown rice he told us about in the not-too-distant future, with "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" scheduled for May 1, 2015. Hiddleston is off the hook for now; producers confirmed he won't be the villain in "Age of Ultron," giving him time for more slumber parties with our own Josh Horowitz.
As for the rest of the box office, "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" was a distant #2. But its $11.3 million haul represented a decent hold, making it the second biggest "Jackass" related movie with $78.7 million domestically thus far. Kid-friendly Thanksgiving movie "Free Birds" and grownup comedy "Last Vegas" both made roughly the same amount as "Bad Grandpa"; it's possible that the order of the Top 5 could switch around when all of the final numbers are tallied. At press time, "Free Birds" was #3 and "Vegas" #4.
That left the #5 spot for last week's #1, "Enders Game." The sci-fi potential franchise starter has made $44 million since it opened. Considering its long journey to the screen (the first book in the Young Adult series was published in 1985), the $110 million production tag and the PR trouble that erupted due to the author's views against marriage equality, "Enders Game" is a flop.
"Thor: The Dark World" will likely continue its reign until November 22, when a fellow sequel will steal its thunder. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" promises to be an even bigger smash than last year's series debut, which made $690 million worldwide.