Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
May 9, 2011
Stop. Hammer time.Kim Hollis: Thor, Marvel's latest superhero adaptation, opened to $65.7 million. What do you think of this result?
David Mumpower: In terms of opening weekend performance, the only Marvel properties that had a better debut for their first films were Spider-Man and Iron Man. Yes, if we adjust for inflation, the situation is less finite, but with box office down across the board, this still qualifies as a triumphant debut. If we judge this in a vacuum, it doesn't look like a mid-$60s opener on paper. Comic book licenses such as Fantastic Four and The Hulk are better established as well as easier concepts to market to mainstream consumers. Thor is on the arcane side since most moviegoers are not interested in the inner workings of Norse mythology. The fact that it has surpassed more marketable predecessors is a great sign for Marvel as they build toward The Avengers.
Josh Spiegel: This is definitely a very solid result. Unlike pretty much all of the other major superheroes in The Avengers, Thor doesn't have the advantage of starpower. Even though Robert Downey, Jr. wasn't a huge star before Iron Man, he was a very well-known figure from Hollywood. The Hulk may not be played by a box-office titan (sorry, Mark Ruffalo), but the character is recognizable enough. As David points out, Thor's not as familiar to audiences; even with 3D prices, the number should make the folks at Marvel very happy.
Joshua Pasch: I couldn't agree more with Josh and David. The key thing here is how vast the difference in "star power" there is between the character Thor and other major characters from Marvel like Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk, and even the Fantastic 4. I consider myself a "fanboy" in the sense that I am a huge fan of comic book lore and movies without being an avid comic book reader. I rarely have to go "Wikipedia-ing" a whole lot to brush up when a comic book movie gets announced, but in the cases of Thor and Green Lantern I knew only a basic descriptions such as "Thor is a Norse G-d with a hammer" and "Green Lantern has powers granted from a ring." When I have to do research on a comic book character, then that's when I know that the public is probably as ill-informed (if not more so) than I am.
When I am left unsure of who Thor is - well that's when I know they studio has a major hurdle to overcome. To end opening weekend with a take of $66 million for America is fine indeed. It should have a run into the $160+ million area, and with an already stellar foreign take, Thor's profile will be well bolstered heading into next summer's Avengers.
Bruce Hall: Thor enjoyed a better opening weekend than The Incredible Hulk, which in my opinion was a better film. And the Hulk is much more well known to casual audiences than Thor. This result is also somewhat less than Wolverine's 80-whatever-it-was-million, but Wolverine was pretty awful. For Thor to land square in between is the best anyone could have hoped for. Good word-of-mouth and solid reviews helped bring in more cash this weekend than a lot of people would have guessed back when this film was first announced.