The big story at the box office Friday wasn't that "Thor" remained in the top slot, but the strong debut from the new comedy "Bridesmaids."

The Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph led ensemble opened to $7.8 million and looks like it will finish the weekend between $20-22 million.  That's significantly higher than industry polling which predicted an $17 million debut at most.  "Bridesmaids" has benefited from strong reviews and currently has a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 76 on Metacritic. Depending on word of mouth, "Bridesmaids" could turn out to be the first sleeper hit of the summer.

"Thor," on the other hand, still ruled the top five with another $9.1 million and $93.8 in just eight days.  The first Marvel Studios release of the summer looks like it will end up with $160-170 million domestically when all is said and done.  That's far less than the $300 million mark achieved by the both "Iron Man" features, but far better than 2008's "Incredible Hulk" which grossed $134 million.

"Fast Five" continued its run with another $5.8 million and $155.1 million to date for third place.  The latest installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise has grossed a spectacular $369 million worldwide so far.

The other significant news Friday was the disappointing opening of Screen Gems' expensive "tentpole" "Priest."  The 3D horror action flick found only $5.6 million even with higher ticket prices.  If "Priest" plays like a traditional horror film its looking at anywhere from $13-15 million.  Screen Gems will no doubt be hoping it doesn't, but a three-day cume of $17 million or more would be shocking.  

Look for full weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.