The good folks at Marvel Studios and Disney must be pretty happy this week. “Thor: The Dark World” hammered home $86.1 million domestic at the box office, and continued its world domination with an impressive $327 million globally.
By comparison, the first “Thor” (which wasn’t as good as this new installment), debuted to $65.7 million domestically in May 2011, grossing a total of $449.3 million globally. The sequel nabbed one of the top November openings of all time in North America, although it couldn’t quite match the $88.4 million earned by “Skyfall” on the same weekend a year ago. It’s Bond, after all.
Disney’s distribution chief, Dave Hollis, has some thoughts on that. “It played in an unconventional way. The franchise is moving away from just fanboys and crossing into the mainstream in a way that makes out-of-school, out-of-work Saturday shows super lucrative. The combination of storytelling and a very successful, inspired marketing campaign made it appeal to the broadest possible audience.”
Couples made up 62 percent of the audience, while families clicked in at 21 percent and teens, 17 percent. Thirty-nine percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25, and 61 percent over. Females made up an impressive 48 percent of Friday’s audience — a larger percentage than usual for a superhero film — but by Sunday, males made up 62 percent of the overall weekend audience. So this is a movie that really crosses all demographics.
Most films shied away from opening opposite “Thor 2,” except for “12 Years a Slave” and “About Time,” which made major expansions over the weekend. Those are quite different movies with likely very different filmgoers than “Thor 2.”
“Slave” grossed a solid $6.6 million, putting it at No. 7 and pushing its domestic total past $17.3 million for Fox Searchlight. “There was such momentum, we figured we had to get it out there,” said Searchlight distribution chief Frank Rodriguez. “We are going to add even more theaters next weekend.”
Richard Curtis’ “About Time” earned $5.2 million as it increased its location count to 1,200 for a ninth-place finish and tepid $6.7 million domestic gross.
In the holdovers department, Paramount’s “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” continued its run, coming in No. 2 in its third weekend after grossing $11.3 million for a domestic total of $78.2 million.
Relativity Media’s 3D animated offering “Free Birds” and CBS Films comedy “Last Vegas” followed. “Free Birds” grossed $11.2 million in its second weekend for a North American total of $30.2 million, while “Last Vegas” took in $11.1 million in its second outing for a total $33.5 million.
“Ender’s Game” placed No. 5, earning $10.3 million for a domestic total of $44 million. Sony’s Paul Greengrass drama “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, crossed $90 million in its fifth weekend, grossing $5.8 million for a total $91 million.
The “Metropolitan Opera’s The Met: Live in HD” scored solidly with Saturday’s live broadcast of Puccini’s Tosca in 800 North American theaters, grossing $2.3 million.