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Weekend Estimates: Thor Starts the Holidays with a Powerful Opening

November 10th, 2013

Thor: The Dark World poster

Thor: The Dark World gets the holiday season off to a start this weekend with a powerful display at the box office. Disney is pegging its opening weekend at $86.8 million, which will be a healthy 30% boost from the debut of the first film in the franchise and also one of the ten biggest weekends in November. It's the first film in the Avengers ├╝ber-franchise to open outside of the May-July Summer season, but that certainly doesn't seemed to have harmed it at the box office, and it won't have much competition until Catching Fire opens in a couple of weeks' time. All said, it looks a virtual certainty to top the box office performance of the original.

The rest of the top of chart this week has a familiar look to it, with no-one daring challenge Thor in wide release. The biggest disappointment is Ender's Game, which will be down about 60% in its second weekend to a little over $10 million. Three films will overtake it, and they are in a virtual tie for second place. Of those, Free Birds is reporting the best second-week hold so far, down 29% to $11.18 million, but Last Vegas has the most impressive hold, given its more adult-skewing demographic and less seasonal subject. It will be down about 32% to $11.1 million, and could yet end up second for the weekend when final numbers are in. The film currently holding that spot is Bad Grandpa, which is heading for $11.3 million in its 3rd weekend, according to Paramount Several awards hopefuls are also making major moves this weekend. The Book Thief will make about $108,000 from four theaters to top the theater average chart. Dallas Buyers Club may have the most impressive average though, with $630,000 or so expected from just 35 locations.

Meanwhile, 12 Years a Slave stays in 7th place with $6.6 million from 1,144 theaters. That's very solid, of course, but it does seem to be running out of steam a bit, as it more than doubled its theater count this weekend and almost exactly halved its theater average. About Time went from 175 to 1,200 theaters on Friday, and actually has had a pretty good weekend in comparison to its slightly disappointing opening. It is set for $5.2 million or so, with an average of $4,300. That's not really enough for it to get much further up the chart, but it could have a decent run through the holidays. All is Lost will pick up about $1.2 million from 401 theaters for an average of $3,000 for 12th place, and is similarly a film that could have legs without every quite hitting the top tier.

Other limited releases reporting so far have not done spectacular business, although At Berkeley is hampered by a remarkable four hour running time, which makes its $6,075 debut in two theaters a more solid result than it appears.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Ender's Game, Dallas Buyers Club, Free Birds, All is Lost, About Time, Last Vegas, The Book Thief, 12 Years a Slave, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, At Berkeley