They say lightning rarely strikes twice, but Marvel's thunder god isn't your average superhero.
"Thor: The Dark World" looks to hang onto the #1 spot for a second consecutive weekend, after storming the box office last weekend with a 30 percent bigger opening than its 2011 predecessor. The second of Marvel's post-"Avengers" movies has earned more than $345 million around the world thus far, capitalizing on many overseas markets by opening a week earlier than in America.
"The Book Thief" and Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Wolf of Wall Street" were at once scheduled for release this weekend, but both movies were pushed back, leaving only "The Best Man Holiday" standing in the Asgardian hero's way. (Other than his adopted brother Loki, of course, whose alter-ego recently returned to torture MTV's Josh Horowitz).
Thor should retain his crown with a second weekend somewhere between $35 million and $37 million, according to industry forecasts. But that doesn't mean "The Best Man Holiday" is doomed to fail. The ensemble romantic comedy should open somewhere above $20 million, quickly surpassing the movie's reported $17 million budget. Marvel movie veteran Terrance Howard costars alongside Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Nia Long and recent "Sons of Anarchy" villain Harold Perrineau.
The rest of the weekend's top five should look pretty familiar: "Free Birds," the animated Thanksgiving themed comedy featuring the voices of Amy Poehler and Woody Harrelson; "Last Vegas," with Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman; and "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," already the second biggest "Jackass" related movie ever, behind 2010's "Jackass 3-D."
Oscar winning "Sideways" and "The Descendants" director Alexander Payne returns this weekend with "Nebraska," opening in four theaters. Also in limited release, Matthew McConaughey's "Dallas Buyers Club" will expand into more theaters.
A week from now, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" will debut in roughly 4000 more theaters than "Dallas Buyers Club." By comparison, the Vince Vaughn romantic comedy "Delivery Man" is set to debut the same weekend in 2800 locations.
This Sunday, November 17, at 8 p.m. ET/PT will see the premiere of "MTV's Catching Fire Fan Tribute." The all-new, televised special features interviews with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena Malone and Sam Claflin. The "Catching Fire" cast will answer fan submitted questions, reveal some secrets from behind-the-scenes and play a few more (wait for it) games.