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411 Box Office Report: Thor: Ragnarok Dominates For Easy #1

November 5, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Thor: Ragnarok Chris Hemsworth

Marvel predictably ruled the box office this weekend as Thor: Ragnarok destroyed the competition with an easy #1 opening. The Marvel Cinematic Universe film racked up $121 million to lead the way, marking the best start for a Thor solo franchise entry with ease. The film earned almost double the start of the original Thor ($65.7 million) in 2011 and was 33% above Thor: The Dark World’s $85.7 million opening in 2013. It is also the seventh-highest opening for the MCU to date and the fourth-best opening weekend of 2017, just ahead of Spider-Man Homecoming’s $117 million opening in July.

The Thor franchise has always been the least-regarded of the solo franchises in the MCU, which has traditionally led to slightly lower (but still fantastic) box office numbers. Ragnarok turned that around. With Taika Waititi at the helm, this cosmic take on the character earned the best reviews that the MCU has gained since the first film, Iron Man. Thor: Ragnarok currently sits at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences loved it, with an A CinemaScore. That ranks above the B+ and A- for the first two Thors. Marvel knew they had a gem here and went all in on the marketing, which played up the fun and humor quite effectively.

At this point, the only question is how high Thor: Ragnarok will climb. It is important to note that it has some major openings coming up as competition. The most notable is Justice League in two weeks, though next week has a couple possible competition points too. Still, the positive word of mouth should result in an above average multiplier and the traditional holiday gross bump won’t hurt. Ragnarok seems likely to pass the $300 million mark in the US, which will be a good target for it. Internationally thus far it has brought in $306 million in two weeks for a $427 million worldwide total. Needless to say, this is another Marvel cash cow.

Thor’s success left the other new release out in the cold, though it was never expected to be anywhere close the MCU film’s level. A Bad Moms Christmas brought in $17 million for the weekend, right about in line with where people expected it to be. The holiday sequel to STX’s 2016 sleeper hit served as solid counter-programming to the cosmic action of Marvel despite terrible reviews (32% on RT) and a much lower audience reaction. The ensemble comedy had a B CinemaScore compared to the A of the original film, which is not going to help word of mouth much.

The good news is, this film doesn’t need huge word of mouth to be a success. With a modest $28 million budget and targeted ads, Bad Mom’s Christmas is set to bring in a fair amount of money for STX. Having opened on a Wednesday, the film has a five-day domestic total of $21.6 million and a worldwide take of $28.2 million. The holiday theme should help at least a little and while this won’t have the legs of the original, it should be able to make it to at least $65 million domestically. That’s enough for a money-maker, even if it’s not a smash hit.

Jigsaw took a tumble in its second weekend, making way for the new films. The Saw revival scored $6.7 million, which was down 60% from the first weekend take. That’s better than the 66% for Saw: The Final Chapter, as well as the 68% for Saw V. At this point the horror film has $28.8 million domestically and is doing fine overseas with $59.5 million worldwide. It seems on target to bring in about $40 million domestically without a problem. That makes this a successful relaunch, with a $10 million budget.

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween dropped two spots #4 in its third weekend. The horror comedy sequel brought in $4.7 million, down 54% from last weekend. The film is now up to $43 million domestically and $43.3 million worldwide, and should be able to end its domestic run at around $55 million to $60 million. On a $25 million production budget and low marketing costs, it’s in fine shape.

Geostorm tumbled to $3 million in its third weekend, slipping 49% from last weekend. This would be a fine hold if it hadn’t started low. Instead, it’s a hold that brings the movie to just $28.8 million domestically and $182.4 million worldwide. The good news for this film is that its disaster credentials are holding on overseas, but with a $120 million budget and heavy marketing it still doesn’t look to make back its budget. Right now, a final domestic gross around $35 million seems right.

Happy Death Day was off 45% in its fourth weekend, down to $2.8 million. The Groundhog Day-like horror flick is now up to $53 million domestically and $78.4 million worldwide. The budget was $4.8 million and with a probably $60 million finish domestically, it is a hit.

Miles Teller’s Thank You for Your Service didn’t get the hold it needed to have any chance of making money. In its second weekend, the film was off 40% to $2.3 million. Again, that would be a fine hold if not for the low, low start it had last weekend. Instead, Service has now grossed $7.4 million and won’t get much higher than $15 million to $18 million. The budget of $20 million won’t be made back here, much less marketing.

Blade Runner 2049 was down 46% in its fifth weekend to $2.2 million. The sci-fi sequel now has $85.5 million domestically and $240 million overseas thus far. The $150 million budget is now a problem, as foreign grosses are slowing down. In the US, it seems to be aiming for around $95 million as a final total.

Only the Brave nosed down 46% to $1.9 million in its third week. The firefighter drama is now sitting at $15.3 million domestically and $16.5 million worldwide. It should be able to end its run around $20 million, not enough for profit on a $38 million budget.

Kevin Sorbo’s faith-based drama Let There Be Light hit the top ten in its second week thanks to a fall of just 6%. The film brought in $1.6 million this weekend, bringing its total to $4 million. The film was distributed by Atlas Distribution Company and there was word on the budget. It should be able to finish with $8 million to $10 million.

Next weekend sees a couple new films try to topple Thor: Ragnarok to little likely success. Murder on the Orient Express is eyeing a $25 million start, as is comedy sequel Daddy’s Home. Ragnarok will beat those with ease.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Thor: Ragnarok – $121 million ($121 million total)
2. A Bad Mom’s Christmas – $17 million ($21.6 million total)
3. Jigsaw – $6.7 million ($28.8 million total)
4. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween – $4.7 million ($43 million total)
5. Geostorm – $3 million ($28.8 million total)
6. Happy Death Day – $2.8 million ($53 million total)
7. Thank You for Your Service – $2.3 million ($7.4 million total)
8. Blade Runner 2049 – $2.2 million ($85.5 million total)
9. Only the Brave – $1.9 million ($15.3 million total)
10. Let There Be Light – $1.6 million ($4 million total)