'Thor: The Dark World' Muscles
Saturday Update: Disney reports that Thor: The Dark World earned $31.633 million on Friday, including Thursday night's $7.1 million haul. BoxOffice is projecting the Marvel sequel to land around $81 million for the weekend as Saturday business is sure to be strong for matinee-friendly family audiences.
The Dark World's opening day marks a 24 percent improvement on Thor's $25.5 million back in 2011, also representing the same increase in the sequel's audience size due to current ticket prices being relatively the same as they were then. For comparison, Iron Man 3's first day was 54 percent higher than The Dark World, 34 percent over Iron Man 2's first day, and sold approximately 20 percent more tickets than Iron Man 2.
Online activity across Twitter, Flixster, and Facebook had consistently been pointing to a larger bow for the Asgardian flick, although Disney itself noted on Wednesday that they were expecting a debut weekend in the $80 million range. Word of mouth appears healthy thus far with 86 percent of Flixster users having enjoyed or still anticipating seeing the movie. Reception will be key for the film's chances at hitting $200 million domestically as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire prepares for what is expected to be a big run starting on November 22.
Friday Update #2: Thor: The Dark World looks to be on pace for $88 million based on early Friday grosses. A surge this evening is likely, and the sequel could end up with more than $90 million if everything goes well.
Thor: The Dark World is the latest effort to benefit from the success of The Avengers. An opening of $88 million would represent a 34% increase over the $65.7 million debut of 2011's Thor.
The first two weekends of release are crucial for The Dark World because the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on November 22 will definitely hinder it.
Check back tomorrow morning for official studio estimates and updated projections.
Friday Update: Disney reports that Thor: The Dark World took in $7.1 million from Thursday evening shows.
That's a very healthy start for the sequel. To put it into perspective, Iron Man 3 made $15.6 million from Thursday shows on its way to a $174 million debut frame this past May. It's clear that Thor: The Dark World will end up shattering expectations this weekend on its way to improving upon the $65.7 million debut of 2011's Thor.
Word of mouth is healthy at this early stage. Nearly 140,000 Flixster users have combined to give the sequel an impressive 86% approval rating.
Thursday Update: Fandango reports that Thor: The Dark World accounts for a staggering 85% of Fandango's weekend advance ticket sales. The sequel's sales are on par with Fast & Furious 6 at the same point in the release cycle.
A survey of ticket buyers revealed the following:
- 81% identify themselves as "Chris Hemsworth fans"
- 72% say their fond memories of The Avengers influenced their decision to see the movie
- 67% claim that Tom Hiddleston as "Loki" is critical to their enjoyment of the Thor saga
BoxOffice.com currently forecasts a $97 million debut for Thor: The Dark World.