Thor: The Dark World Dominates
By John Hamann
November 10, 2013
Thor has returned to try and save the box office, but this savior ain’t no James Bond, as the Avenger failed to beat the super spy’s $88 million debut from a year ago.
Yes, after much anticipation, Disney and Marvel launched Thor: The Dark World this weekend to spectacular results. As BOP’s David Mumpower reported yesterday, Thor 2 got off to a solid start from Thursday previews, earning $7.1 million. While these are good numbers, you should know that the “Thursday preview” continues to be abused, as this preview started showings at 8:00 p.m. Others start at 10:00 p.m., and some start at midnight (we don’t call it Thursday midnight screenings anymore, do we?). So, Thor: The Dark World would have had TWO screenings prior to midnight on Thursday, instead of just one. Suddenly that $7.1 million looks a little iffy, doesn’t it? The original Thor took in $3.25 million from midnight showings.
The Friday number for Thor: The Dark World came in at $31.6 million, which is really $24.5 million once the Thursday number is removed (the original Thor earned $25.5 million on its first Friday, but with Thursday previews removed, it was $22.3 million). Skyfall, the non-Twilight, non-Potter record holder for the month of November, earned $2.2 million from midnight screenings and $30.5 million on Friday. The combined results for both films are within $1.1 million of each other. The thing that both films have in common is that the release pattern for their opening frames results in a long weekend, as Bond had Veteran’s Day on Sunday (resulting in a holiday Monday), whereas Thor 2 has the long weekend from Veteran’s Day Monday. This affects the weekend multiplier (weekend gross divided by Friday gross), as more of Thor’s target audience can attend on Sunday night as school is out on Monday.
The original Thor had a weekend multiplier of 2.9 ($65.7 million opening divided by its first “true” Friday of $22.3 million). Had Thor: The Dark World matched the multiplier of the first Thor, the result would looked like this: $31.6 million, less $7.1 million from Thursday, equals $24.5 million, then multiplied by 2.9 to equal $71 million, then adding the $7.1 million back in for a weekend of $78.1 million. A 2.9 multiplier is solid for a superhero movie with great reviews and an early May opening, as the fanboys tend to show up in droves on Friday and Saturday, and then these films drop off on Sunday. Normally, I would expect the sequel to be even more front-loaded, reducing the multiplier as the number of fans increase after the first film (which was pretty darned good). However, with a quasi-long weekend, expectations are thrown a curveball, and makes anticipating the final weekend tally that much more difficult.
Thor: The Dark World earned $31.7 million on Saturday, which means it held 100% of its audience compared to the combined Thursday/Friday, and increased 29% using the true Friday number. The first Thor effort earned $23.3 million on Saturday, a slight increase from its true Friday gross of $22.3 million. The Sunday is estimated at $22.8 million, which provides an expected drop of 28%. Skyfall, which also benefited from Veteran’s Day, fell 29% from Saturday to Sunday. Last weekend’s number one, Ender’s Game, fell 40% from Saturday to Sunday, thus describing the impact of the holiday.