Disney's Thor: The Dark World had a successful start this weekend with an estimated first place take of $86.11 million. The Marvel superhero sequel starring Chris Hemsworth debuted in line with expectations, which ranged anywhere from $80 million to $100 million heading into the weekend. Thor: The Dark World opened 31 percent stronger than the $65.72 million start of 2011's Thor; an increase which was no doubt due in part to the ongoing goodwill from last year's Marvel's The Avengers. Thor: The Dark World debuted just below the $88.36 million start of Skyfall last November (which grossed $90.56 million when counting early Thursday shows). Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Thor: The Dark World delivered the ninth largest opening weekend on record for the month of November. The film registered the fourth largest opening weekend of 2013 to date (behind only Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Fast & Furious 6).
Thor: The Dark World did experience a bit of a roller coaster ride throughout the weekend. After a healthy $7.1 million late night Thursday start, the film didn't have the greatest expansion on Friday as it grossed $31.63 million as a whole on its opening day (including Thursday night grosses). But the film then held up extremely well on Saturday to gross $31.66 million. Strong early word of mouth, appeal with family audiences and the Veterans Day holiday falling on Monday all contributed to the film's Saturday hold. Thor: The Dark World is estimated to fall 28 percent on Sunday to gross $22.82 million. The film generated an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.72 to 1, which is very strong for a film with a sizable Thursday night start.
With only one new wide release scheduled for next weekend (Universal's The Best Man Holiday), Thor: The Dark World could hold up relatively well next weekend. Though obviously, competition will become much fiercer the following weekend when Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire enters the marketplace.
Thor: The Dark World received an A- rating on CinemaScore (which was slightly better than the B+ rating Thor received on CinemaScore). The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards male moviegoers (62 percent) and moviegoers over 25 (61 percent). Couples accounted for 62 percent of the film's audience, while families made up 21 percent. Thor: The Dark World grossed $5.3 million from IMAX locations, which accounted for 6.2 percent of the film's overall gross this weekend.
It was a very tight three-way race for second place this weekend between Paramount's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Relativity' s Free Birds and CBS Films' Last Vegas . Bad Grandpa currently has the edge for second place with an estimated $11.3 million, while Free Birds and Last Vegas followed closely behind with $11.18 million and $11.10 million respectively. It is close enough between the three films that the order could still change between now and tomorrow when actual grosses are released.
All three films held up well this weekend, especially when factoring in the added presence of Thor: The Dark World in the marketplace. Bad Grandpa was down 44 percent, Free Birds fell just 29 percent and Last Vegas was down a healthy 32 percent. Respective total grosses stand at $78.75 million for Bad Grandpa in 17 days, at $33.53 million for Last Vegas in ten days and at $30.196 million for Free Birds in ten days. All three films will hope to continue to hold up well next weekend, especially with only one new wide release entering the marketplace.
The news wasn't anywhere as good for Lionsgate's Ender's Game. Last weekend's top film was down four spots and a sharp 62 percent to land in fifth with an estimated $10.25 million. Clearly, Ender's Game took a big hit from the arrival of Thor: The Dark World, which had been widely expected. Ender's Game has grossed $44.00 million in ten days, which places the film 5 percent behind the $46.10 million ten-day start of After Earth earlier this year.
In its first weekend of wide release, Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave grossed an estimated $6.6 million to place in seventh. After a very strong hold last weekend, the awards season hopeful increased a more modest 38 percent this weekend upon expanding into an additional 734 locations. 12 Years a Slave earned a per-location average of $5,769 from 1,144 locations for the frame. The 24-day start for 12 Years a Slave stands at a very solid $17.35 million.
Meanwhile, Universal's About Time placed in ninth in its first weekend of wide release with an estimated $5.17 million. That represented a 381 percent increase over last weekend's limited start (when the film was playing in just 175 locations). For the frame, About Time earned a per-location average of $4,310 from 1,200 locations. About Time has grossed a so-so $6.69 million in its first ten days of release, but will hope to hold up well going forward. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (71 percent) and towards moviegoers 40 and older (56 percent).