Box Office: "Thor" has a mighty debut of $66 million to kick off the summer season
Marvel Studios' latest hero didn't have an an "Iron Man" or "Wolverine" level debut, but Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" grossed $66 million over the weekend for a fine start. Granted, that's far short of "Iron Man's" $98 million opening or any of the Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" series which all found more than $100 million their opening weekend. However, it is bigger than 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" which debuted to $55 million and 2005's "Fantastic Four" which found $56 million. Of course, "Thor" is in 3D with inflated ticket prices, but Disney and Marvel Studios will no doubt thank distributor Paramount Pictures for giving their latest franchise a solid start.
Reportedly budgeted at $150 million, the first of Marvel's two superhero flicks this summer should have a solid run this Month with little competition until "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" opens on May 20.
Last weekend's champ, "Fast Five," felt "Thor's" power as it fell to the second slot and $32.5 million. With $139 million in just 10 days there will hardly be any complaining in Universal City, but the global blockbuster did drop 62.3% from its debut which was a bit more than expected. It's now questionable whether "Five" can reach the magic $200 million mark domestically, but it will be close. The Justin Lin thriller has amassed $327.4 million worldwide so far.
While "Thor" did damage at the top slot, there was a battle going on among counter-programming fare for the third and fourth slots.
Sony Pictures' "Jumping the Broom" is estimated to have made $13.7 million to come in at number three. No matter what the final weekend outcome, however, "Broom" is quickly on its way to profitability after reportedly costing just under $7 million to produce.
Not far behind was "Something Borrowed" with $13.1 million. That's a disappointing start for the Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and John Krasinski romantic comedy, but Warner Bros. will have to hope fans of the original novel catch the film over the next few weeks.
"Rio" continued its solid run in fifth with another $8.2 million and $114.9 million to date.
In limited release, Jodie Foster's well received drama "The Beaver" found just $104,000 in 22 theaters for a $4,727 per screen. No doubt, Mel Gibson's standing with audiences has taken a major hit because of his personal problems over the past few years.
Final ticket sales are released on Monday.