Among the many Marvel brands, Thor has never been the strongest - but that narrative changed in a big way this weekend thanks to the arrival of Thor: Ragnarok. The God of Thunder had an absolutely massive weekend, not only ranking as the seventh biggest opening for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also nearly doubling the total that the first Thor made in its first three days back in 2011. Check out the full Top 10 below!
Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Ragnarok arrived in theaters with some of the best reviews received by any comic book movie, and that buzz helped the film completely destroy any thoughts about its November release date being a handicap. The blockbuster not only managed to outpace the opening weekend total that was put up by Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Homecoming this past summer ($117 million), but its numbers look incredible when compared to the previous two Thor titles. Not only is Ragnarok's three-day domestic total easily the highest among the group, but there's also zero question that it will ultimately become the biggest grosser overall. By the time they were done in theaters, Kenneth Branagh's Thor made $181 million domestically and Alan Taylor's Thor: The Dark World pulled in $206.3 million - and its easy to imagine Ragnarok topping both in the next couple of weeks. Even internationally it looks ready to be crowned as the king of the series, as it has already made $427 million worldwide in comparison to Thor's $449.3 million and Thor: The Dark World's $644.6 million.
As for explaining the success, there are many factors to consider, including the inclusion of Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk, who is definitely a fan favorite, but hasn't been featured on the big screen since 2015's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps more important, though, is the re-invented image that Thor: Ragnarok offers the series. The previous two features certainly had their comedic moments, but the second sequel kicks that element up to 11, and there's an argument to be made that it is the best studio comedy of 2017. The laughs clearly connected, as the blockbuster earned an impressive "A" CinemaScore from opening weekend crowds, and Marvel certainly must now be taking a closer look at a bigger future for Chris Hemsworth's titular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as they move into Phase 4.
Unfortunately, the blockbuster's immense success created trouble for Josh Lucas and Scott Moore's A Bad Moms Christmas, which opened a bit weaker than its 2016 predecessor. While the first Bad Moms earned mostly positive reviews and caught enough buzz to make over $100 million domestically, the follow-up is off to a slower start with its $17 million take. Given that the project was set up as counter-programming for those not interested in Thor: Ragnarok, STX Entertainment probably wasn't expecting too much, but still probably aren't too thrilled with the results. The sequel got a 32% on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to the original's 58%), and it dropped a full grade in CinemaScore, going from an "A" to a "B." The silver lining is that the reported budget is only $28 million, so at least the movie should still be able to turn a profit.
As for the non-new releases, it turns out that Jigsaw really needed the Halloween season to succeed, because it is fading fast. The horror feature dropped nearly a full 60% in its second week for an ugly $6.7 million take, bringing its global total to $59.5 million. Lionsgate can still call it a success, given that it continued the low-budget streak of the franchise by only costing a reported $10 million to make, but they are surely second guessing any ideas to keep the series going, as seven years was definitely not enough time for people to start missing this once-incredibly popular brand.
Next week Thor: Ragnarok will be facing some mysterious and comedic competition in the form of Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express, and Sean Anders' Daddy's Home 2, respectively. Will the Marvel Studios film be able to maintain its spot at the top of the box office? Come back next Sunday to see how it all shakes out!
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