Thor: Ragnarok

Weekend Box Office: Norse Code

Between summer’s ‘Guardians’ sequel and this weekend’s new ‘Thor’ movie, the MCU harvest has been great for Disney this year. The ‘Bad Moms’ sequel also had a decent opening, but isn’t tracking like its highly profitable predecessor. Aside from those, however, the weekend’s box office was just as poor as the past several weeks.

Marvel Studios hasn’t had the biggest success with the ‘Thor’ franchise, but that turned around this weekend with the thunderous opening of ‘Thor: Ragnarok‘. Thanks to strong comedy, a fresh director who was given free rein and very positive reviews, the third entry in the character’s (supposedly) standalone series captured lightning in a bottle by grossing $121 million and an easy #1 debut. This three-day domestic total represents nearly double the opening of the first ‘Thor‘ and $35 million more than ‘The Dark World‘. The wild success of last week’s international opening also continued this weekend. After ten days, the MCU’s 17th title has earned $306 million overseas. Over the last ten days, the $180 million ‘Ragnarok’ has whipped up $427 million worldwide.

While the opening of ‘Ragnarok’ shows the opposite of sequel fatigue, the weekend’s other new sequel didn’t hold a candle to its original. Last year, ‘Bad Moms‘ surprised with a strong opening and very long legs, ultimately leading to the $20 million R-rated comedy making $113.2 million domestically. The fast-tracked sequel ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas‘ cost $28 million to produce and had a #2 debu with $17 million, which is down nearly $6 million from the first. While the upcoming holiday season could definitely lead to it having legs as long as its predecessor, terrible reviews could easily prevent that from happening. Next weekend’s holdover ought to give us a clue as to which route it will take. Steering clear of the almighty ‘Thor’, ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas’ opened on Wednesday. The two-day head start resulted in $4.5 million, giving it a $21.5 million five-day total. Internationally, the joyless comedy pulled $6.6 million, putting its worldwide total at a budget-covering $28.2 million.

Last week’s ‘Saw’-quel dropped 60% and, obviously, fell from the top spot on the charts. Finishing in third place, ‘Jigsaw‘ made $6.7 million, bringing its ten-day total to $28.8 million, which is already higher than what ‘Saw VI’ earned over its entire domestic run. The foreign box office has dished up $30.7 million, giving this cheap ($10 million production budget) eighth entry to the horror franchise a $59.5 million worldwide total.

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween‘ is still showing the same signs of sequel fatigue that the ‘Bad Moms’ are experiencing. Its third week resulted in $4.6 million, a #4 finish and a $42.9 million 17-day total. At this point, the original ‘Boo!’ had $64.9 million, which is what prompted the quick year-later sequel. With ‘Boo 2!’ coming with a $25 million price tag, it will likely rely on home video to recoup its marketing costs.

Three-week-old ‘Geostorm‘ rounded out the Top 5 with $3 million. To date, the $120 million CG-fest has only grossed $28.7 million domestically. Fortunately for Warner Bros., international moviegoers are still feeding the monster. The movie has made $153.6 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to $182.3 million.

One of this weekend’s indies soared in limited release. Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird‘ collected $375,612 from four locations, giving it the year’s best per-screen average with $93,903. With stats like that, A24 will expand it nationwide for Thanksgiving.

The week’s other acclaimed indie release didn’t fare so well, but will still expand in the coming weeks. Richard Linklater’s ‘Last Flag Flying‘ also opened at four locations, but only took $42,000 and a per-screen average of $10,500.

Top 10:

1. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (Buena Vista) – $121,005,000

2. ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas’ (STX) – $17,030,000

3. ‘Jigsaw’ (Lionsgate) – $6,700,000

4. ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ (Lionsgate) – $4,650,000

5. ‘Geostorm’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,035,000

6. ‘Happy Death Day’ (Universal) – $2,815,000

7. ‘Thank You for Your Service’ (Universal) – $2,260,000

8. ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (Warner Bros.) – $2,235,000

9. ‘Only the Brave’ (Sony) – $1,910,000

10. ‘Let There Be Light’ (Atlas) – $1,631,384

17 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    I was at a sold out showing of ‘Thor 3’ this weekend…I had a blast, but looking back I can see why it has gotten some criticism. The visuals were amazing (I saw it in 2D, I will be preordering the 3D Blu-Ray), the style (everything outside of Asgard) is rich and fun, like it all took inspiration from Goldbum’s character. The criticism I read were about a lack of action, or just a tad too much humor (for instance, the hilarious Cork’s last joke was a bit unnecessary at an emotional moment). What seems to me to be missing are those Marvel moments that play the characters off of each other for a powerful statement about the character’s strengths. For instance, in ‘Civil War’, after watching intense action showing the power of Bucky’s arm, we then have Spider-man nonchalantly catching his punch. He doesn’t even comment about the power, just how cool it is that he has a metal arm. Or, in ‘Age of Ultron’ where, after the relaxed scene where everyone tries to lift Thor’s hammer, we have a long speech by Vision asking for the Avengers to trust him, punctuated by him passing Thor his hammer. I don’t recall any scenes that gave me THAT feeling during ‘Thor 3’.

    • Luke Hickman
      Author

      I totally get what you’re saying.

      My criticism are the usual: lack of plot (the derailed Planet Hulk story consumed most of the runtime), a vanilla villain-of-the-week, no real danger (although two recurring characters were killed off, they were absolutely no emotional impact WHATSOEVER to their pointless deaths), etc.

      Having said that, just as Logan took the X-Men franchise into the western genre, I enjoyed that Ragnarok brought Thor into the comedic genre. I had an absolute blast with it. Was it my favorite comic book movie? Far from it. Did I enjoy it? Entirely. It made me smile and laugh, but it is far from being a quality picture.

      • NJScorpio

        I’m a Hulk fan, and I too was a bit irritated because this felt like the current MCU’s answer to giving fans a stand alone Hulk movie. Dropping into the middle of his story killed the opportunity to try and develop any emotional arc to his story. It just boiled down to “Earth hates me”. Do we really know if Hulk/Banner feels any different about this at the end? Plus, as you said, it had the typical villain issues.

        Reflecting on the drive home from work, I did recall one of those magic MCU moments I was referencing before popping up in ‘Thor 3’. When Loki moves toward Doctor Strange saying something like, “oh you think you are some sort of sorcerer?”…the way Doctor Strange handles that, probably my favorite moment.

          • Timcharger

            Isn’t there some kind of 10 year rule? If no film is made, the rights revert back to Marvel? That’s why they keep rebooting films to retain the property. The last Hulk film was 2008, so 10 years is coming up quick. Universal doesn’t have a Hulk film in production, does it?

        • T.J. Kats

          With what I gathered from googling it is actually just distribution rights that Universal has and it seems to be a forever type situation so they would have to come to some agreement.

          • NJScorpio

            So it would have to be similar to Sony and Spider-Man: Homecoming, correct? Perhaps with the reception Hulk gets via ‘Thor 3’, Disney will offer enough incentive to Universal to strike a deal. ‘The Incredible Hulk’ (2008) is already part of the MCU, with Tony Stark showing up talking about the Avengers initiative at the end. It’s just that (from what I recall) Norton wanted too much money to come back as The Hulk. He must have realized how big this all was going to be.

          • I think the difference is that both of the two Hulk standalone movies were viewed as failures, whereas all of the Spider-Man movies were quite successful. Marvel may simply consider Hulk to work best as a supporting character in other people’s movies.

          • It depends on how much crossover such a movie would have with the original Hulk. It’d be hard to establish She-Hulk as a character without interacting with her cousin. Also, just the fact that she has “Hulk” in her name might be grounds for Universal to claim distribution rights.

          • NJScorpio

            They have Hulk play a pretty big part in the other MCU movies, just look at the ‘Thor 3’ posters. So his degree of involvement shouldn’t stop them. There may be some weird stipulation about him not being the star in a movie, or needing to have under a certain percent of screen time, but that could still be done. Perhaps they can’t have anything with “Hulk” in the title,

          • So, by that logic, if I were to make a movie called ‘Hulking Warriors’ or even ‘Hul, King of Warriors’, Universal could claim distribution right?

          • But isn’t ‘hulking’ an adjective, and a noun, in the English language? ‘Large and bulky’ (adj.), ‘A kind of sloping embankment used as a coastal defence’ (noun)

          • NJScorpio

            I imagine it would have to be close enough to the Hulk to be banking on his cache. So if WWE entertainment (or whatever) wanted to make a movie about Hulk Hogan called ‘The Story of The Hulk’, I imagine it would be okay.

            If Paramount wanted to make a movie about a giant angry guy who is very strong and has blue skin, titled ‘Hulking Mad’, they may have a problem.

            If Marvel Studios made a movie about a bunch of gamma-altered green toddlers with super strength called ‘Hulk Babies’, that would likely be an issue with Universal.

          • EM

            Julian, I have never heard of hulking as a noun. Judging from my Google search, I’m guessing you got that definition from Wiktionary. Where Wiktionary got it from, I have no idea. (If the source used the spelling defence, then probably it wasn’t an American dictionary from the last century and a half or so.)

          • EM

            As for establishing a She-Hulk character without involving the Hulk, Marvel movies frequently show very little fidelity to their comics sources. The MCU She-Hulk could, for instance, get her powers from radioactive algae in or around some abandoned ship (probably a case involving Roxxon or Stane International or whatever, with which lawyer Jennifer Walters would have some legal clash).

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