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411 Box Office Report: Thor: Love & Thunder Powers to $143 Million Start

July 10, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Thor: Love and Thunder Image Credit: Marvel Studios

The MCU led the box office once again, as Thor: Love & Thunder claimed the top spot with a $143 million start. The Taika Waititi-directed Thor sequel claimed the fourth-best opening of the pandemic era with a start that is right about in line with industry expectations coming into the weekend. This marks the best opening for a Thor solo film to date, topping the $122.7 million for Thor: Ragnarok in 2017.

While that start ranks below the openings of Spider-Man: No Way Home ($260.1 million) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187.4 million), it is otherwise the best start for a film since the pandemic began. This is on the strength of high anticipation for the film, based on the positive regard for Ragnarok as well as a strong marketing campaign.

Love & Thunder is proving to be a more divisive film than Ragnarok was, which had some concerned about its potential holds throughout the weekend. We knew that this would bring out the audiences, but a milder 68% critic aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes eased some sky-high expectations a touch and the audience word of mouth has been somewhat more muted too. The film has a B+ CinemaScore and 81% positive audience score on RT, compared to an A and 87% for Ragnarok.

However, it did hold up well and that gives reason to hope it won’t have the smaller multiple that Multiverse of Madness did. That film is at a 2.19 thus far; Love & Thunder should be able to get to at least a 2.5 considering the lighter set of competition it will be up against. That would put it in the $350 million range, which seems like a fair spot. Overseas the film got off to a good start with $159 million for a $302 million worldwide opening. Even with its reported $250 million budget, this will be another MCU hit.

Minions: Rise of Gru had a pretty solid hold considering the new competition. The animated sequel/prequel brought in $45.6 million in its second weekend. That’s down 57% from the opening weekend take, essentially identical to Minions’ second weekend hold in July of 2015. Rise of Gru is doing big business, up to $210.1 million domestically and $400 million against a budget of just $80 million, making it already profitable. It should be able to follow its predecessor’s trajectory to a $310 million domestic final, a number Universal will be ecstatic over.

Top Gun: Maverick continues to roll along, as the Tom Cruise sequel took in $15.6 million in in its seventh weekend. That’s another solid 40% drop, bringing the film to $597.4 million domestically and a massive $1.183 billion worldwide. The movie is targeting at least $630 million and has a chance at $650 million by the end of its run, huge for Paramount against a $170 million budget

Elvis continues to show much-needed strength in its holds, dropping 40% in its third weekend to gross $11 million. The Baz Luhrmann-directed music biopic is looking like it may have some potential for profit even against a hefty $85 million budget, with $83.4 million domestically and $129.9 million worldwide. The film is currently looking fairly likely to close out at around $110 million domestically, so the overseas numbers will determine if it’s a money maker or not.

Meanwhile, Jurassic World: Dominion is already well into profit territory. The dino film was down 49% in its fifth weekend to $8.4 million, bringing it to $350.3 million domestically and $876.5 million worldwide. Sure, it cost a lot ($165 million) and isn’t the hit its predecessors are, but it’s sitting pretty and should be able to end its domestic run at around $375 million.

Universal has another profitable venture with Blumhouse’s The Black Phone, which was down just 37% in its third weekend with $7.7 million. The Scott Derrickson-directed horror film is proving to be a crowd-pleaser and has $62.3 million domestically and $99.1 million worldwide, a hit already against its $18 million budget. It should be able to hit around $80 million domestically.

Lightyear was off 55% in its fourth weekend, taking in $2.9 million. The animated Pixar space adventure has now totaled $110.4 million domestically and $194.4 million worldwide against a $200 million cost, making it a rare failed Pixar endeavor. It should be able to end its stateside run at around $120 million.

A24’s animated Marcel the Shell with Shoes On added theaters this weekend and grew as a result. The feature was up 30% in its third frame to $340,000. A24 plans to expand it further next weekend, and it should be able to add nicely to its current $963,000 tally based on the very positive word of mouth. No word on its budget.

Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness was down 37% in its 10th weekend with $262,000. The movie is a hit of course and is now at $410.9 million domestically and $953.3 million worldwide. The budget was $200 million.

Bleecker Streat’s Mr. Malcolm’s List closed out the top 10, down 70% to $245,000. The romantic dramedy now sits at $1.6 million and will top $2 million before it exits theaters.

Nothing will stop Thor: Love & Thunder from reigning again next week. Instead, it’s all counterprogramming as Sony’s Where the Crawdads Sing targets around $14 million and animated comedy Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is hoping for $8 million to $10 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Thor: Love & Thunder – $143 million ($143 million total, $302 million WW)
2. Minions: The Rise of Gru – $45.6 million ($210 million total, $400 million WW)
3. Top Gun: Maverick – $15.5 million ($597.4 million total, $1.183 billion WW)
4. Elvis – $11 million ($91.1 million total, $129.9 million WW)
5. Jurassic World: Dominion – $8.4 million ($350.3 million total, $876.5 million WW)
6. The Black Phone – $7.7 million ($62.3 million total, $99.1 million WW)
7. Lightyear – $2.9 million ($112.3 million total, $194.4 million WW)
8. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – $340,000 ($963,000 total, $963,000 WW)
9. Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness – $262,000 ($411.1 million total, $953.3 million WW)
10. Mr. Malcom’s List – $245,000 ($1.6 million total, $1.6 million WW)