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Weekend Box Office: Thor is Mighty in Easy First Place Finish

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By Chris Kavan - 11/10/13 at 09:06 PM CT

It was a nice weekend for Marvel as Thor: The Dark World topped the box office. It was an easy win for the superhero and proved that the franchise isn't in any danger as post-Avenger films continue to see a nice bump. With Captain America still upcoming, it will be interesting to see if the trend holds as Phase 2 continues to show a lot of promise. Otherwise, things were a bit quiet as the next three films are in a virtual dead heat and once final numbers are reported, things could switch around.

1) THOR: THE DARK WORLD

While Thor may not have been able to match Iron Man, it was still an impressive run. With $86.1 million, the Thor sequel posted a 31% increase over the original (which opened with $65.7 million). The Avengers is still providing a nice boost the Marvel universe, as both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston (as Loki) were featured prominently in the marketing. The only somewhat surprising number is the low 3D (just 39%) return for The Dark World. In comparison, the original Thor had a 60% 3D share on opening weekend. That number aside, Thor did excellent in IMAX - earning $5.3 from that format (even with direct competition from Ender's Game). The movie drew an higher male audience (62%) and ran a bit older (61% over 25) - and they awarded the movie a nice A- cinemascore. With little in the way of direct competition until Catching Fire hits in a couple weeks, Thor is looking for an easy $200 million score before it leaves theaters.

2) BAD GRANDPA

It's going to have to fight with two other films, but as of right now the Jackass film holds a slight lead with $11.3 million and currently holds second place. It dropped 44% from last weekend, but the film is now the second-highest grossing film in the Jackass franchise at $78.7 million and looks like it will cross the $100 million mark before it ends its run. It may be rude and crude - but when you deliver what you promise in previews, that is a recipe for success.

3) FREE BIRDS

Just behind Bad Grandpa, the time-traveling turkeys in Free Birds took in $11.18 million for third place. Although it had a soft opening, the second weekend had just a 29% drop - maybe signaling that while not a home run by any means, at least families haven't completely abandoned it. The movie has earned $30.2 million since opening and may be able to reach its $55 million budget should it continue to hold this well in the coming weeks (or at least until Frozen hits and takes away its audience). Although the movie still looks like a turkey to me, this signals at least a ray of hope it might not be a complete disaster.

4) LAST VEGAS

The geriatric bachelor party was even closer to third place with $11.1 million - and any of these three films could easily jump or drop a spot or two by the time Monday's final numbers come out. As it stands, the film dropped about 32% and raised its total to $33.5 million - easily surpassing its modest $28 million budget. Again, not knockout numbers, but if it closes above $50 million I would consider that a nice tally.


5) ENDER'S GAME

After opening on top last weekend, Ender's Game took a big 62% hit and dropped all the way to 5th place with just $10.25 million. Likely due to Thor targeting the same audience, but a disappointing drop none-the-less - the film now stands at just over $44 million and with even more competition upcoming it will be lucky to hit $75 million, let alone its $110 million budget. It is probably not even going to be able to match the total of After Earth - another disappointing sci-fi film - and not one based on a beloved source material.

Outside the top five: The week's other release, About Time, opened way down in 9th place with $5.2 million. Given it's the only romantic option right now, it might stick around, though it isn't likely to create many waves.

The drama 12 Years a Slave continued its expansion (now in over 1100 theaters) and jumped 37.7% from last week taking in $6.6 million (remaining in 7th place) and giving it a new total of $17.34 million. The Fox Searchlight picture has shown it appeals to general audiences just as much as the indie crowd and future expansion is likely. It should be able to break into the top 20 for the company, if not the top 10, by the time it ends its run.

Next week the only wide release is The Best Man Holiday, which will target a specific audience - as well as the limited release opening of Alexander Payne's Nebraska ahead of a wider release.

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