This weekend's box office race between Disney's Thor: The Dark World and Universal's The Best Man Holiday ended up being closer than was widely anticipated, but Thor: The Dark World was still able to lead the way with $36.59 million (which was nearly $2 million less than Sunday's studio estimate). The Marvel superhero sequel starring Chris Hemsworth slid 57 percent from last weekend. While that is a reasonable second weekend decline for a superhero sequel, it isn't a great hold by any means either, especially with the film likely having received a bit of an extra boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch it before Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire enters the marketplace next weekend. In comparison, 2011's Thor fell 47 percent in its second weekend to gross $34.70 million, while last year's Skyfall fell 53.5 percent to take in $41.10 million.
In the bigger picture, Thor: The Dark World has grossed a healthy $145.10 million through its first ten days of domestic release. That places the film 21.5 percent ahead of the $119.46 million ten-day start of Thor and 10 percent behind the $160.94 million ten-day take of Skyfall. Those comparisons suggest that Thor: The Dark World is still on course to eventually clear the $200 million domestic milestone.
The Best Man Holiday exceeded expectations this weekend with a strong second place take of $30.11 million. Expectations for the modestly budgeted ensemble comedy sequel had been rising in the days leading up to the film's release due in part to strong pre-sales. Playing in 2,024 locations; The Best Man Holiday earned a terrific per-location average of $14,875 for the frame. The Best Man Holiday opened just below the $33.64 million start of last year's Think Like a Man and blew past the $9.03 million debut of 1999's The Best Man (which stands at $14.37 million when adjusting for ticket price inflation). The Best Man Holiday has already nearly out-grossed the $34.10 million total domestic gross of The Best Man (which stands at $54.25 million when adjusting for inflation), as the fanbase of The Best Man has clearly increased in the years since the film's theatrical release.
The Best Man Holiday placed in first on Friday with $10.69 million, increased 15 percent on Saturday to take in $12.27 million and fell 42 percent on Sunday to gross $7.15 million. That gave the film a solid estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.82 to 1. That is a good early sign for the film going forward, as is the A+ rating the film received on CinemaScore. The Best Man Holiday will hope to hold up well throughout the holiday season, though the rush out of fans of the original film on opening weekend could still lead to some front-loading.
The audience breakdown for The Best Man Holiday skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (75 percent) and moviegoers 35 and older (63 percent). African American moviegoers made up 87 percent of the film's audience.
CBS Films' Last Vegas held up very well this weekend with $8.44 million. The modestly budgeted ensemble comedy fell only 24 percent from last weekend, as the film clearly continues to benefit from strong word of mouth. Last Vegas has grossed $46.53 million through 17 days of release and is very likely to continue holding up well going forward, especially with this Thanksgiving's new options for adult moviegoers looking softer than usual.
Also holding up nicely this weekend was Relativity's Free Birds. The 3D computer animated film was down just 27 percent from last weekend with a fourth place take of $8.11 million. Free Birds has grossed $42.02 million through 17 days and should continue to hold up well between now and Thanksgiving.
Paramount's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa rounded out the weekend's top five with $7.42 million. The successful Jackass spin-off starring Johnny Knoxville was down 34 percent and has grossed a stronger than expected $89.95 million in 24 days. That leaves Bad Grandpa just $10.05 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.
On the limited front, Focus' Dallas Buyers Club took in $1.75 million from 184 locations. That gave the awards season hopeful starring Matthew McConaughey a per-location average of $9,518 for the frame. Dallas Buyers Club has grossed $3.01 million in 17 days and will expand into additional locations this coming Friday.