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It's a good weekend to be a Marvel fan. Because this Friday brings the debut of Thor: Ragnarok, the third solo film starring Chris Hemsworth's signature character. The threequel is sure to be a game changer for the franchise, as director Taika Waititi is injecting the blockbuster with far more comedy, color, and out of this world action than its predecessors. But now it looks like Ragnarok will be a game changer for another reason: money. The current projections for this weekend's combined domestic and international box office are absolutely bananas, and prove that changing up the Thor brand was probably a good call.
Because Deadline is reporting that Thor: Ragnarok's global cume could reach a projected $400 million by Sunday. That is some serious cheddar, launching in some international markets early to help give it an early boost. What's even more remarkable about this estimation is that 2011's original Thor movie's total earnings for its entire run was $449.3 million. Given that Ragnarok will likely have a strong month of box office earnings, Ragnarok's projected performance is enough of a reason to continue the franchise into Phase Four.
Indeed, the next phase of films is almost a complete mystery. Taika Waititi has expressed interest in possibly doing another sequel down the line, although that possibility would depend on the status of Chris Hemsworth's contact. Many of the OG Marvel actors' are set to complete their contracts after the fourth Avengers movie, and it's currently unclear who may return when Phase Four starts up. But with Hemsworth given more of a chance to flex his comedic muscles and switch it up with his signature character, it may be appealing to renew or draft a new contact with the studio to keep Thor alive. And considering the insane amount of money Ragnarok will make this weekend alone, I'm sure they want to keep him around.
While Thor is one of the first heroes to be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he hasn't been met with the same rabid fandom and excitement as Captain America or Iron Man. But actor Chris Hemsworth has been getting more and more star power over the years, and has been able to flex his comedic muscles in projects like Ghostbusters. Taika Waititi's sensibility has proven that the Thor franchise can be just as outrageous and silly as something like Guardians of the Galaxy, which is very good news since the MCU will begin focusing on more galactic adventures.