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Thor: The Dark World bashes box office with $86m

2013-11-11 13:30
Chris Hemsworth Thor
Los Angeles - Superheroes continue to defeat their foes at the box office.

Disney's Thor: The Dark World, earning $86.1m, dominated the weekend box office as it opened domestically at No 1, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, the Marvel superhero sequel earned $109.4m when it opened internationally last weekend and $94m internationally this weekend.

"It's an extraordinary thing," said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution at Walt Disney Studios. "These guys at Marvel have been some of the most consistent when it comes to making movies and creating big events that drive a ton of people to the movie theater. They over-delivered on expectations."

Some were expecting bigger take-ins

However, some observers were expecting the weekend total to reach over $100m.

In limited theatres Thursday evening, Thor: The Dark World brought in $7.1m overnight.

Surpassing the ticket sales of Thor, which scored $65.7m when it opened in May of 2011, Thor: The Dark World marks a record for a Disney November opening, topping the $70.5m The Incredibles earned in 2004.

Hunger Games will dominate in future

But, come 22 November, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is predicted to take the No 1 spot.

"We have a great little stretch of time prior to Hunger Games," Hollis said. "Yes, Hunger Games will do a whole bunch of business, but that's not to say we don't expect to still be a relevant option for consumers that weekend and onto the Thanksgiving weekend that follows."

Other big earners

Paramount's hidden-camera comedy Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa held the second-place slot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, earning $11.3m during its third weekend, with a domestic total reaching more than $78m.

"Audiences can't get enough of these films," said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak. "They are like that guilty pleasure. It's completely unique compared to everything else out there."

Relativity Media's 3-D animated kiddie flick Free Birds, soared into third place with $11.2m in its second weekend.

CBS Films' Last Vegas, featuring an all-star cast including Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline, took fourth place in its second weekend.

Last weekend's box office champ, the sci-fi adaptation Ender's Game, starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield and Viola Davis, dropped to fifth place in its second weekend.

"Once Thor opened, it presented a pretty healthy competitor to all of the movies in the marketplace," Dergarabedian said. "We're starting this process of the holiday movie season, which dollar for dollar, is just as important as the summer movie season. In a seven- to eight-week period, we are talking about close to 20% of the total-year box office."

Expanding to 1,144 theatres in its fourth week, possible Oscar contender 12 Years a Slave brought in an impressive $6.6m over the weekend at No 7.

In its first weekend The Book Thief, starring Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse, had a firm opening with $27 000. It debuted in limited release in just four locations.

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