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Weekend Wrap-Up: Thor Sees the Light

November 11th, 2013

Thor: The Dark World matched expectations nearly perfectly and dominated the box office over the weekend. In fact, it earned more than the rest of the box office pulled in combined. This helped the overall box office rise 32% from last weekend reaching $167 million. Unfortunately, Thor couldn't match Skyfall's opening weekend and the total box office was 3% lower than the same weekend last year. 2013 is still ahead of 2012, but by 0.9% at $8.85 million to $8.77 million. Since there is only one new release next weekend, and it isn't a prime release, we will likely see another year-over-year loss. Fortunately, 2013 should still stay ahead of 2012 and Catching Fire should end 2013's losing streak in a big way.

Thor: The Dark World showed strong growth when compared to the first Thor opening with $85.74 million, or 30% more than its predecessor. It's not quite as strong as Iron Man 3's growth over Iron Man 2, but still a success. Its reviews are good, but not great, and with the Fanboy effect, its legs could be short. On the other hand, the film's internal multiplier was stronger than expected at 2.69 and it has no real competition next weekend so its legs could be relatively long. It should reach $200 million, which is likely more than it cost to make.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa was way back, way, way back in second place with $11.33 million over the weekend for a total of $78.77 million after three. It is still on pace to reach $100 million, but it might not be in the top five by the time it gets there.

Free Birds benefited from the lack of direct competition with $11.11 million over the weekend for a total of $30.13 million after ten days of release. Family films are not as badly hurt by bad reviews, but this is still a surprisingly strong hold. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, it could be at $60 million, which is more than it cost to make. Sadly, its chances internationally are not strong, so it will have to rely on a strong home market run to break even. If it becomes an annual Thanksgiving tradition, this could happen.

Last Vegas was very close behind with $11.04 million, which was also better than anticipated, despite its reviews. Its running tally is now $33.47 million and it too could reach $60 million before the end of its run. Assuming its P&A budget wasn't out of control, it will break even early in its home market run.

Ender's Game fell from first to fifth with $10.26 million, which is 62% lower than its opening weekend. This collapse is even steeper than most people thought it would be, and steeper than its reviews alone can account for. Granted, it did have to deal with direct competition, but this is still a terrible sophomore stint.

About Time did better than expected, but that is mostly damning it with faint praise. It only earned ninth place with $4.76 million for a total of $6.28 million. Here's the interesting part. It was playing in 1,200 theaters this weekend giving it a per theater average of $3,965. During its opening weekend, it earned a per theater average of $6,150. Its per theater average fell just 36% despite having its theater count rise from 175 to 1,200. If a film has dropped just 36% during its sophomore stint, it would have been seen as a good result. Having its per theater average fall 36% with its theater count growing sixfold is amazing. It suggests if the film opened wide with a proper advertising campaign to go with it, it would have thrived.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Ender's Game, Free Birds, Thor: The Dark World, About Time, Last Vegas, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Thor