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THOR Hammers Out Victory

Fast Five continues international success story.

By Jarrod Sarafin     May 08, 2011


Chris Hemsworth's THOR takes down win in U.S. debut
© Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios

 

As reported last weekend the global release of Universal’s Fast Five and Paramount’s Thor have continued bouncing off each other on two box office fronts, kicking off the summer season in the right direction for Hollywood executives. One is far-exceeding expectations on the international side while the other launched into 1st place here in the U.S. market slightly above predictions from within the Marvel Studio offices.
 
Let’s look at Thor first.
 
While taking down an impressive $176 million of foreign box office receipts from its first 11 days of international release, Paramount Pictures and Marvel’s new superhero feature hammered down a $66 million debut here in the U.S. over the Mother’s Day weekend. Showing on 3,955 theaters across the nation, the first frame’s numbers has it averaging $16,688 per venue and comes in ahead of the $55 million prediction that insiders had expected from it.
 
A $66 million debut doesn’t sound all that impressive to some within the comic fandom but the studios are quite happy with the results knowing that the character wasn’t as well-known as such heavy titles like Batman and Superman as well as Marvel favorites like Spider-Man and Iron Man. Both of the latter releases had higher openings with $114.8 million and $98.6 million when they helped kick off summer line-ups in 2002 and 2008, respectively.  Thor’s $66 million opener has it as the 3rd all-time launch for a Marvel character, ahead of Fantastic Four ($56.0), The Incredible Hulk ($55.4 mil) and X-Men ($54.4 mil).
 
Older fanboys have helped the global launch, with 72% of its audience being over the age of 25, while 63% were males. For their part, Paramount Pictures seems quite happy with the results of its first weekend.
 
“When you look at the Marvel brand, to be at this level of success on a global level is certainly a great story,” Paramount vice chair Rob Moore said. “It was also a great move on Marvel’s part to go with Kenneth Branaghand Chris Hemsworth.”
 
Dan Harris, Paramount’s Vice President of Distribution, echoed the praise by saying "Chris Hemsworth looks like he's going to be a movie star. Kenneth Branagh made a very smart movie, and the idea that the man who's most closely identified with Shakespeare is making a Marvel superhero movie, I always thought was pretty interesting. Audiences connected with the Natalie Portman relationship, between her character and Thor. The movie looks spectacular on the screen. It was fun, and it's a big, epic movie."
 
If we include the $176 million the film has earned from its first 11 days overseas, Thor has a global gross of $242.0 million.
 
We now come to last weekend’s champion, Fast Five. Not only did Universal’s fifth installment rake in an amazing $86 million in its U.S. launch last weekend, it also broke Universal’s international box office record this weekend by winning the foreign race with another $86.6 million from 6,979 in 58 overseas territories.
 
On the U.S front, the sequel starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson found another $32.5 million on its 3,662 theaters, increasing its domestic cume to $139.8 million after only 10 days of release. The film’s second frame has helped it become the highest-grossing release of 2011, ahead of previous champion Rango ($120.4 mil). As you’ll see in our early summer box office ladder down below, the amazing overseas numbers combined with domestic tally has Fast Five leading the list with a global gross of $324.6 million. Not bad at all for a film which cost $125 million to produce.
 
TriStar Pictures and Sony Screen Gems basically doubled their money after just three days of release from Jumping the Broom. Looking to take a bite out of the box office for those not seeking comic superheroes or car chases, the film found an estimated $13.7 million at 2,035 locations across the nation. It’s yet another example on how Screen Gems is a very intelligent studio, showing off their prowess at keeping budgets low and profits high. The budget for the film is only $6.6 million.
 
Next up is Warner Bros. Pictures’ debut of their romantic comedy, Something Borrowed. The film starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson and John Krasinski launched into 4th place by earning $13.1 million in estimated ticket sales. Based on the book by Emily Giffin, the adaptation averaged $4,530 per showing on its 2,904 venues and put it in decent shape to eventually reach its $35 million price tag.
 
And the 5th place spot goes to the returning animated adventure Rio. 20th Century Fox’s tale found another $8.2 million in its fourth frame, increasing its domestic score to $114.9 million and putting it well ahead of the $90 million budget the producers shelled out. The film has also racked in a nice $292.3 million overseas to put its worldwide tally at $407.2 million. It’s the top worldwide earner for 2011 at the moment but it shouldn’t be long before a summer release takes the top mantle.

Rank
Movie
Weekend
Theaters
Average
Total
Budget
1
Thor
$66.0 mil
3,955
$16,688
$66.0 mil
$150
2
Fast Five
$32.5 mil
3,662
$8,880
$139.8 mil
$125
3
Jumping the Broom
$13.7 mil
2,035
$6,732
$13.7 mil
$6.6
4
Something Borrowed
$13.1 mil
2,904
$4,530
$13.1 mil
$35
5
Rio
$8.2 mil
3,258
$2,517
$114.9 mil
$90
6
Water for Elephants
$5.6 mil
2,614
$2,142
$41.6 mil
$38
7
Madea’s Big Happy Family
$3.9 mil
1,881
$2,073
$46.8 mil
----
8
Prom
$2.4 mil
2,730
$888
$7.8 mil
$8
9
Soul Surfer
$2.1 mil
1,781
$1,179
$36.6 mil
$18
10
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
$1.8 mil
2,505
$750
$6.7 mil
$30

 
And here’s the global summer numbers as they count now. Rio was technically a pre-summer release so it didn’t quite make the list even if it would be on the top spot right now.
Fast Five Numbers:
Budget: $125 mil
Opening: $86.1 mil

Domestic:
$139.8 mil
Foreign: $184.8 mil
Worldwide: $324.6 mil
 
Thor Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $66.0 mil

Domestic:
$66.0 mil
Foreign: $176.0 mil
Worldwide: $242.0 mil
 
 
 
 
Friday, May 13, 2011 Releases:
Wide
Priest 3D (2,800+)
Bridesmaids (2,700)
Limited
Everything Must Go
Hersher
Go For It
The First Grader
How to Live Forever
Skateland
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 83
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TheMovieGuy28 5/8/2011 2:49:21 PM

First comment. Nice. May I use it to laugh heartily at the Lakers of Los Angeles who have been goosed by the Mavericks. There's no 'go' in team, but there is an 'e' in ego.

As for Thor, I've already stated in the movie review thread that it just felt.....ordinary. Nothing super exciting, nothing that was a game changer. The direction, cast, look, the whole film was spot on, and is by all means a success, but it just felt so regular.

If you notice a lot of the reviews on RT, from the certified critics, they all have the same consensus-Thor showed up as a long extended preview for the Avengers and the film was nothing wave breaking.

I think the problem with Thor is there's nothing wrong with it. It does everything right, but it doesn't knock anything out of the park. I was the biggest (and still am) champion of Kenneth Brannagh, and he did a spectacular job considering it's his first summer big-budget film ever.

I went and saw it on a Thursday midnight showing. There was more interest from the crowd in the previews, as the film just didn't seem to do anything to wow anyone. We all laughed at the funny parts, ooooh'd at the hammer flying through the frost giant rancor, and that was it.

As Thor only made 66 million this weekend, I don't see it moving past 150, maybe even 140. It won't have the legs to compete, as Priest (horrible as that looks) will pull away from it, so will Fast Five next weekend, but then Pirates 4 is hear, and Thor will be a distant memory.

Oh well. Bring on X-Men: First Class (the one I'm looking forward to most behind Cap'n)

TheMovieGuy28 5/8/2011 2:54:29 PM

 

All in all, I'd rank Thor behind Iron Man & the Incredible Hulk, but better than IM 2, Origins, & the FF's. For a Norse god to come in 3rd as the best in recent memory (Spidey 2 and X-Men 2 are nearly a decade old), that's pretty solid...

 

...in other, other, OTHER news, I finally got to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World last night. I felt like I was watching a VH1 Pop-up video marathon. Now I know why I never bought the hype last year. Ultimately, don't you have to care about the main characters to have an interest in the film? Brandon Routh and Chris Evans were the best thing about it, and that's saying alot.

Wiseguy 5/8/2011 3:04:05 PM

Glad to see THOR kick ass. Its overall numbers seem to justify a sequel is warranted. People need to remember that this was the superhero movie with the most baggage and doubters to overcome and the one to open against the stiffest competition yet thanks to Fast Five so to manage 66 mil is a pretty damn good feat. Not to mention Mother's Day.  It should benefit a little from the lack of interest and seemingly horrid word from critics next week for Priest

I thought THOR was awesome myself. It's a beautiful and fairly straight forward origin tale that introduces and sets him up for the Marvel Universe. Great mixture of action/drama/comedy.

The only cheeesy moment for me was right after he became worthy to hold Mjolnir again. Other than great addition to the Marvel slate fo superhero films

Osama BinLaden and the Lakers go down within a week, thank you GOD. It shows that evil will always be defeated in the end

SarcasticCaveman 5/8/2011 3:04:53 PM

 I also thought that SHIELD were a little too nice and caved a little too easily when it came to giving back Jane's equipment and research.  I know they're not trying to portray Coulson as a dick, but come on, he IS  government spook.  Overall I would have given it a B plus.  REALLY good movie...just didn't think it was quite GREAT.  Can't wait for The Avengers now.  

I'm also not a 3D hater, but I honestly didn't think the 3D did anything to make the movie more enjoyable.  I personally think that if the studios don't want to sink money into having a movie FILMED in 3D and done correctly, they shouldn't convert it - I don't CARE if the conversion doesn't look like TOTAL crap.  Just saying. 

millean 5/8/2011 3:06:01 PM

I sort of agree with TheMovieGuy about Thor not being anything too overwhelming.  However, I think that was exactly what it needed.  This movie was awesome and played out on screen better than I ever thought it would.  After the movie ended, nothing really earth/midgard/asgard-shattering took place, but it introduced Thor to the general public, established the character and is now ready to make waves in The Avengers and Thor 2.  I LOVED this movie, and I have never really loved Thor.

Finally, I hope the studio execs at DC was watching this.  The way they pulled this movie off gives me immense hope that a Wonder Woman movie could and would be awesome, if handled properly.  :)

 

shac2846 5/8/2011 3:28:23 PM

 Man I actually thought Thor would open bigger than that. I guess I was putting it up against Iron Man. The movie was good but just like the consensus it was missing a wow factor. I don't know. I enjoyed it. I'll even buy it on dvd but I'm still more excited for Green Lantern and Cap. I feel the same way as you guys about the 3d. I saw it in standard real 3d and the transfer sucked, sorry Wise. I know you said it was good but I never saw any of the awesome Asgard imagery pop or stand out because of the 3d. Until I'm proven otherwise I stick by my complaint, transfering these films isn't good unless they do it right and we know hollywood could give two shits. By the time you realize the 3d sucked you have already spent nearly 10 bucks extra on a ticket. It racks up fast and that's what they hope. Still I'd say Thor is a nice warm up for a hopefully great summer season. 

SarcasticCaveman 5/8/2011 3:28:37 PM

 Anybody ever watch The Shield on FX?  The guy that plays Agent Coulson was in a couple early episodes.

Bryzarro 5/8/2011 3:29:09 PM

 Saw Thor and Fast5.  Impressed on both fronts.  First let me say WOW again to Fast 5's numbers.  I think this series has really found new life again with Fast 4 and now 5.  And I am okay with the seeds of a 6th one coming out.  Love that the Rock's character has so much potential too.  

As for Thor.  I was impressed.  I agree it wasn't a walk-up Home Run.  But like Jarrod referenced Marvel's choice is starting off with Thor before Cap was a smart choice in my book too.  Thor although we all know him is much lesser known than the Main comic mainstays.  With 66mil this weekend I see next dropping off maybe about 10-15 Million bringing it to 40 .  I mean it's mothers day and who brings their mom to Thor??

I can't wait for GL and X-men to come out now.  This is a huge summer for comic films and these numbers layout ground work for more!

Hobbs 5/8/2011 3:32:43 PM

They were projecting numbers like this which usually doesn't happen so I don't see what the problem is.  I thought it was a great movie, if I have any complaints it would be the forced love story but I can give them a free pass on that as there is only so much you can put in a two hour movie.  Actually a little surprised Natalie Portman took this role as there wasn't much to it.  Kind like Scarlet taking the role in IM2 granted it supposed to lead to more screen time somewhere down the line.

TheMovieGuy28 5/8/2011 3:44:19 PM

For the record, Kevin Fiege came out and said all prin. phot. was done in 2D, but that every effect and landscape shot wasdone in 3D, not converted, as they'd wanted 3D all along.

 

Wise, do you really see a sequel? I know Thor is taking numbers around the world, but ultimately it has to really do business in the US for a sequel to work. Next weekend, as you and I both mentioned, Priest is getting atrocious reviews, but it will probably still pull in some box office just do to it being something relatively 'new' in terms of story, though I see it as Judge Dredd meets Daywalkers....anyway, back to Thor. 66 this weekend. Next weekend is almost a guarenteed 50% knock off, and then the week after is Pirates, and after that is Kung-Fu Panda 2 & Hangover 2. Pirates will almost certainly drop at least a 75-95 million dollar opening in 2 weeks, so if you look at how Thor expects to fall, say next week it brings in another 27-32 million. Week after maybe another 12-15, and then done, as June 3rd brings X-Men 2, and I just don't see people in droves going to see Thor at that time.

In less than 30 days, you'll have Pirates 4, Kung-Fu Panda 2, Hangover 2 and X-Men first class. Thor won't break 150 million at US box office. A sequel would only serve to help the Marvel storyline 3 years from now, and considering that if a sequel is done, it would cost as much if not more than this first one. While the profit potential is there, I just don't see a Thor sequel existing or coming until at least 2014.

 

Again, I ENJOYED Thor. Thought it did exactly what it was gonna do, but it did it all so underwhelming.

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