Things picked up at the domestic box office as Marvel Studios released their eighth film Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Christopher Eccleston, into 3841 theaters where it easily took first place with an estimated $86.1 million after bringing in $31.6 million in its opening day Friday (including Thursday night previews). This opening is 31% greater than the original Thor made in its May 2011 opening weekend and though a holiday release tends to offer greater legs, especially with Thanksgiving a few weeks away, it will have to contend with the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire before then.
It was a last minute decision to open the Thor sequel in IMAX theaters domestically, but that still proved to be a strong choice for moviegoers as it brought in over $5.3 million on 310 screens (many of them splitting screen time with last week’s Ender’s Game.
Internationally, “The Dark World” continued to exceed expectations as it added another $94 million in its second weekend overseas, down just 14% from last weekend as it expanded into more territories, adding up to a global weekend take of $180.1 million. Russia scored the highest among international territories with $24.1 million, followed by the UK with $22.6 million, but the big story was the $19.6 million the movie grossed in China in its opening weekend there, which was more than the opening of The Avengers and more than the original movie made in total. (Thanks to ERC Box Office for pointing out that fun factoid.)
270 IMAX screens accounted for over $5.6 million of the international weekend take with IMAX screens in China bringing in $3 million in IMAX revenues. This brings the movie’s global total to $327 million after just ten days, making it another feather in the cap of Marvel Studios, who have yet to falter since branching off on their own.
On the other hand, last week’s #1 movie, Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (Summit), starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld, dropped all the way down to fifth place, down 62% with just $10.2 million in its second weekend with a total gross of $44 million. Considering its reported $110 million production budget, I wouldn’t be holding your breath for a sequel unless it does huge business overseas.