Thor: Love And Thunder Is The Biggest Thor Movie Yet As It Strikes At Number One With A Huge Opening Weekend At The Box Office

Chris Hemsworth as Thor
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Ice is cold, the desert is hot, and Marvel Studios releases movies that hit number one at the box office during their opening weekend. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been topping the charts ever since the release of Jon Favreau's Iron Man in 2008, and while some of the movies make more money than others, what's consistent is that every blockbuster becomes the biggest new release in theaters as soon as they arrive. Taika Waititi's Thor: Love And Thunder is the latest title to fit into that pattern.

With the new Marvel movie sitting at the top, check out the full Top 10 for this past weekend below, and join me after for analysis!

Thor: Love And Thunder weekend box office CinemaBlend July 8-10, 2022

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)
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1. Thor: Love And Thunder$143,000,000 $143,000,000 Row 0 - Cell 3 4,375
2. Minions: The Rise Of Gru$45,550,000 $210,078,580 14,427
3. Top Gun: Maverick$15,500,000 $597,406,113 23,513
4. Elvis$11,000,000 $91,122,702 33,714
5. Jurassic World: Dominion$8,410,000 $350,325,830 43,251
6. The Black Phone$7,660,000 $62,312,410 52,559
7. Lightyear$2,900,000 $112,322,200 62,090
8. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On$340,000 $963,416 1148
9. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness$262,000 $411,062,441 9140
10. Mr. Malcolm’s List$245,416 $1,638,979 71,057

Marvel Has Another Massive $100 Million Opening Weekend Hit With Thor: Love And Thunder

As I noted in my box office column last week, the summer of 2022 has been wonderful for the rejuvenating movie theater industry, as four of the year's five movies to earn nine figures in their opening weekend have come out since the first week of May. Thor: Love And Thunder is the most recent title to be added to the list and the second from Marvel Studios following the release of Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.

Overall, Thor: Love And Thunder just had the third highest opening weekend of 2022 thus far. The aforementioned Doctor Strange 2 outgrossed it making an astounding $187.4 million in May, and it fell just short of topping Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World: Dominion's $145.1 million from early June, but the Chris Hemsworth feature did beat out the total made by Matt Reeves' The Batman in March ($134 million) with its estimated $143 million take.

Thor: Love And Thunder is the fourteenth of 29 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make over $100 million in its first three days at the box office, and the third of the six titles from the franchise to hit that milestone since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (the others being Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness and Jon Watts' Spider-Man: No Way Home). 

But while Thor: Love And Thunder's box office numbers can be considered "normal" by Marvel standards, the movie is a big win for the individual Thor series in that it's the biggest opening weekend for any title in the run. The previous Thor movies made plenty of money in their first three days – Kenneth Branagh's Thor making $65.7 million in 2011, Alan Tayor's Thor: The Dark World bringing in $85.7 million, and Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok earning $122.7 million – but the latest sequel crushed that number by over $20 million.

Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thor: Love And Thunder is also already off to a thoroughly great start not just in the United States and Canada, but around the world. The trade says that the Marvel feature has already made $302 million worldwide.

It's not all profit just yet, as Thor: Love And Thunder was reportedly a very expensive movie to make (Variety pins the production budget at about $250 million, and that's a price tag that doesn't include marketing or publicity costs). With other monetary considerations also in the mix – like the percentage of ticket sales going to exhibition partners, and the money going to those contracted to get points on the back end – the new blockbuster probably isn't entirely profitable just yet, but it is off to a great start, and it a good amount of runway to work with.

In recognition of Marvel's power, Hollywood studios all but totally cleared the runway this upcoming Friday to allow Thor: Love And Thunder room to dominate, and it's expected to continue to rake in money unfettered until the arrival of Jordan Peele's Nope in the middle of the month.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru Takes A Big Dip, But It Still Manages To Hold On To Second Place

Executives at Universal Pictures surely must have known that Thor: Love And Thunder was going to take a considerable bite out of the audience for Kyle Balda's Minions: The Rise Of Gru – and that reality is definitely reflected in the numbers in the chart above. The Illumination Entertainment production had an excellent opening weekend to kick off July 2022, but its grosses shrunk weekend-to-weekend by 57 percent.

The good news for the animated film is that 43 percent of $107 million is still quite a lot of money, and Minions: The Rise Of Gru has seen its domestic total rise to $210.1 million (already making it the fifth highest grossing title of 2022 thus far domestically).

Minions: The Rise Of Gru continues to perform well internationally as well. Around the world, the prequel sequel has made $303.8 million, which is good enough to make it the tenth highest grossing blockbuster of the year so far (though that position is definitely in jeopardy already thanks to the quick success of Thor: Love And Thunder). 

Taking global performance into consideration, Minions: The RIse Of Gru still has a while to go if it wants to be seen as the same kind of ridiculous success as the previous entries in the Despicable Me franchise. It's unlikely that the film will outgross either Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda's Minions or Despicable Me 3 (both of which respectively made over a billion in their time of the big screen), but the new movie still needs to make about $144 million to match the earnings of Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's original Despicable Me (and that's not accounting for inflation).

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On Is Crushing In Per Theater Average

Earlier this year, box office prognosticators were delighted to follow the progress of Daniels' Everything Everywhere All At Once, which went from playing in 10 theaters in the United States to grossing $86.9 million at the global box office. It was a massive win for the indie movie, and now it appears that A24 is trying to get lightning to strike twice with Dean Fleischer-Camp's utterly enchanting Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.

As you can see on the box office chart, the live-action/stop-motion hybrid feature isn't playing in a lot of locations right now (48 nationwide), and it's not mixing it up with the big blockbusters right now – but it did manage to capture eighth place, and that's because the movie is presently earning $7,083 per location. That is the third highest total among titles in the Top 10 this weekend, behind Thor: Love And Thunder and Minions: The Rise Of Gru.

Per theater average, along with incredible buzz, is what turned Everything Everywhere All At Once into the year's most surprising hit, and Marcel The Shell With Shoes on can hopefully follow that same path (though it's certainly a more difficult version of the path given the extreme box office competition. It's sporting a 99 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes right now, and if you need any more reasons to check it out, you can find a whole bunch of them in CinemaBlend's review of the film.

As noted earlier, we aren't exactly seeing the most anticipated blockbusters in the world hitting theaters this upcoming Friday, as the only new big screen releases will be Rob Minkoff and Mark Koetsier's animated Paws of Fury: The Legend Of Hank, and Anthony Fabian's fashion-centric period drama Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris. Regardless, we should see some interesting shakeups in the Top 10, so be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to read the full report.

To learn about everything on the way to theaters in what remains of the year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.