Thor Doing Well In Early Box Office But Can't Beat Fast Five, 3D To Blame?

By Josh Tyler 2011-05-06 18:15:44discussion comments
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Thor Doing Well In Early Box Office But Can't Beat Fast Five, 3D To Blame? image
Thor opened in midnight screenings around the United States last night and itís currently printing out tickets at a rapid rate around the country as people get off work and pile into movie theaters. Itís doing well too, the movie made $3.3 million in those midnight showings and is expected to do around $25 million in business by end of day Friday. Thatís a nice number except, well, itís not as good as Fast Five.

While the Fast franchise has always done well at the box office, in the past it would never have been in the same weight class as Thor or any other superhero movie. Yet Fast Five earned $3.8 million in its midnight screenings when it opened a week ago, and on its first Friday earned $34 million. The superior box office totals of Fast Five become even more significant when you consider that Fast Five wasnít in 3D, while Thor is. That means Thor is charging much higher prices for its tickets than Fast Five was, and yet Fast Five still made significantly more money.

So why isnít Thor outperforming Fast Five? Both movies are well reviewed extensions of an established brand, in the case of Fast Five itís the fifth entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise and Thor is an extension of the Marvel franchise. Fast Five probably had a little more name recognition, because even though Thor is an extension of the now familiar Marvel brand, the character is new to most people. But Thor has the advantage of being the first, official movie of the summer while Fast Five opened a week before the traditional, summer box office season. When I look at these two movies, the big difference I see between them 3D.

Fast Five is the biggest movie of 2011 and itís hard not to notice that itís also one of the only big, blockbuster releases to hit theaters this year in 2D. Thatís right, Fast Five wasnít released in 3D at all. On the other hand, Thor is not only being released in 3D, in many places itís only being released in 3D. Weíve heard numerous reports from Cinema Blend readers around the country indicating that 2D screenings of Thor are simply unavailable in many areas. Some of those people are as a result skipping it, or waiting and hoping that after it's out a few weeks Thor will show up in cheaper, more palatable 2D screenings. Fast Five, on the other hand, was instantly accessible to all audiences of all types, and at a much cheaper ticket price.

Coincidence? Maybe, but itís a trend worth keeping an eye on as summer box office receipts keep rolling in. Iíll be watching closely on Sunday when our full Box Office report goes up, to see if Thor can beat Fast Fiveís $86 million weekend.

Are you planning to see Thor in 2D or 3D this weekend?


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