Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok

While Marvel fans in the United States still have to wait until Thursday evening/Friday to see Thor: Ragnarok, our friends overseas did not need to be quite so patient. The Taika Waititi-helmed trilogy capper has already opened internationally and thundered past expectations to bring home an insane amount of money, blowing well past $100 million this past opening weekend.

According to Deadline, Thor: Ragnarok has brought in $109.1 million in international markets to kick off its run. With most projections putting it in the $85-$100 million range, this has to be encouraging to the Disney/Marvel brass. Not to mention that Thor: Ragnarok has yet to open in the ever-important China. Thor: Ragnarok is also outperforming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by 6% in the same markets. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which came out this past April, finished with $481 million internationally and $389.8 million domestically. Thor: Ragnarok is also outperforming its predecessor, Thor: The Dark World, by 34%.

Thor: Ragnarok seems poised to build on this success stateside, with the film projected to make $100 million over the three-day weekend. The film also has the benefit of earning almost universally positive reviews and what should be great word of mouth. Thor: Ragnarok has been praised in many early reviews for being pure cosmic fun and full of the kind of humor you expect from Taika Waititi. This stands in contrast to the dour Thor: The Dark World, and looks like it should be the tone for the character moving forward after the first two lackluster installments. The return of Loki and the magnificent Cate Blanchett as Hela probably doesn't hurt either. Plus it has Hulk. Don't underestimate the drawing power of Hulk.

As far as competition is concerned for this weekends' domestic opening, Thor: Ragnarok will be going up against Bad Mom's Christmas in a bit of counter-programming. Next week sees the release of Thor helmer Kenneth Branagh's star-studded Murder on the Orient Express. But really, Thor: Ragnarok doesn't have much competition, and it should remain on top until it goes up against Justice League on November 17, which is projected to open at around $110-$120 million.

This wildly successful opening international frame goes to show the ever-increasing importance of international box office. It should also make clear that the monthly death knells of superhero fatigue are premature. Comic book films are not simply comic book films. Thor: Ragnarok is a cosmic road movie, just as Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a spy thriller. As long as there are good characters and compelling stories to tell, the superhero genre will thrive, and this huge opening box office for Thor: Ragnarok just goes to prove it.

Keep an eye on CinemaBlend as Thor: Ragnarok releases this week, and for details concerning the rest of the year's theatrical releases, look through our 2017 premiere guide.

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