News

‘Thor’ drops the hammer on weekend box office

‘Thor’ drops the hammer on weekend box office

'THOR' IS A WINNER: Cast member Chris Hemsworth (R) greets his brother actor Liam Hemsworth at the premiere of "Thor: The Dark World" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California Nov. 4. Photo: Reuters

By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Marvel superhero Thor pounded his box office competitors over the weekend, muscling movie sequel “Thor: The Dark World” to the top of U.S. and Canadian charts with a hefty $86.1 million in debut ticket sales.

The 3D film starring Chris Hemsworth trounced last week’s top movies. Raunchy comedy “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” finished in second place with $11.3 million from Friday through Sunday, according to Hollywood.com.

“Free Birds,” the 3D movie featuring the voices of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson as turkeys who team up and travel back in time to get turkey off Thanksgiving dinner plates, earned the No. 3 slot with $11.2 million, just ahead of senior citizen buddy comedy “Last Vegas” which took in $11.1 million.

“Thor: The Dark World” also hauled in $94 million from international markets, where the movie began playing on October 30, distributor Walt Disney Co said. IMAX showings added another $11 million globally, and its combined global sales through Sunday reached $327 million.

The new “Thor” installment co-stars Natalie Portman as the love interest for Thor, the mighty god of thunder who battles to save his homeland of Asgard from evil forces. Tom Hiddleston plays Thor’s villainous brother Loki.

“Thor 2″ fell a bit short of industry forecasts that it would kick off with up to $92 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters. But the sequel opened stronger than the original movie, which debuted with $65.7 million in May 2011.

Thor also appeared in 2012 smash hit movie “The Avengers,” which helped stoke interest in the character. According to a poll by the Fandango movie website, 72 percent of ticket buyers said fond memories of Thor in “Avengers” influenced their choice to see “Thor: The Dark World.” The “Thor” sequel cost $170 million, Disney said.

“It’s a great start,” said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios, adding that Disney would have considered “anything north of $80 million to be a good result.”

Hollis also noted that the film was playing especially well with family audiences.

“Marvel has transitioned,” he said. “This is an everybody picture.” Business ticked up as the weekend went on, and he said Disney was anticipating an especially strong performance on Sunday and Monday, given the Veterans Day U.S. holiday on Monday, when many schools and businesses will be closed.

Second-place film “Bad Grandpa” stars comedian Johnny Knoxville in disguise as an 86-year-old man who travels cross-country with his 8-year-old grandson, pulling pranks on unsuspecting people they encounter on the way.

Animated movie “Free Birds” tells the tale of a pair of turkeys that try to keep their kind off Thanksgiving dinner plates, while “Last Vegas” follows four lifelong friends who reunite for a bachelor party. It stars Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline.

Last week’s winner, sci-fi thriller “Ender’s Game,” dropped to fifth place, taking in $10.3 million after a steep drop-off of 62 percent in box office receipts.

Two films in limited release expanded to more than 1,000 theaters each. Drama “12 Years a Slave,” starring British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, brought in $6.6 million, while “About Time,” a romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, collected $5.2 million.

“Bad Grandpa” was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. CBS Films, a unit of CBS Corp, distributed “Last Vegas.” “Free Birds” was distributed by privately held Relativity Media. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp released “Ender’s Game.” Fox Searchlight, a unit of 21st Century Fox, released “12 Years a Slave.” “About Time” was distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp.

Recently Played

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Dec. 19

Fresh
dolly

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Entertainment

Third ‘Night at the Museum’ marks final film for Williams, Rooney

nightatthemuseum

The credits for "Secret of the Tomb," which opens Friday, read "In loving memory of Mickey Rooney," and "For Robin Williams - the magic never ends."

in Music

Noel Gallagher embarrassed daughter in front of Harry Styles

Noel Gallagher and Anais Gallagher at Arthur - UK film premiere held at the O2 Arena - Arrivals.
London, England - 19.04.11

Noel Gallagher left his teenage daughter mortified by embarrassing her in front of One Direction heart-throb Harry Styles.

in Music

Donny Osmond predicts end is near for One Direction

Singer Donny Osmond performs in Bryant Park on ABC's "Good Morning America" show on Friday, August 15, 2008, in New York.

Donny Osmond predicts One Direction will split up in 2016 and Harry Styles will launch a successful solo career.

in Music

Taylor Swift and J. Cole rule Billboard charts

"Woman of the Year" honoree Taylor Swift attends the 2014 Billboard Women In Music Luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in New York.

Taylor Swift is celebrating her longest reign at the top of the U.S. pop chart after Blank Space racked up a fifth week at number one.