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Weekend Box Office: Thor Repeats but Best Man Holiday Makes the Biggest Waves

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By Chris Kavan - 11/17/13 at 07:55 PM CT

It was no surprise that Thor took the top spot at the box office for the second weekend. However, it may be a bit of a surprise that The Best Man Holiday nearly took the top spot and was less than $8 million behind the mighty Marvel hero. Chalk it up to good timing, good marketing or good word-of-mouth - but Best Man was really the big news over the weekend. Granted, next week is going to see one of the biggest films of the year, so the film better enjoy the good news while it lasts.

1) THOR: THE DARK WORLD

After a red hot opening weekend, Thor still retained the top spot at the box office with $38.5 million bringing the film up to a new total of $147 million. It dropped 55% - not quite as good a hold as the original Thor (which took just a 47% hit) but just a hair better than Iron Man 3 (which dropped 58%). But the most direct comparison can be make with Skyfall - which took a very similar 53% drop over the same time period last year, and if Thor: The Dark World follows a similar path, it should be able to approach the $250 million mark before it runs out of juice. Considering how crowded the box office is about to become, however, that might be a mark it falls just short of - but the next three weeks will certainly tell the tale.

2) THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY

As the only new film in wide release, Best Man Holiday had a lot going for it, but even so, almost no one could have seen just how good the film would do in theaters. In second place with $30.6 million, the film pretty much blew away all early predictions. The original film only took in $9 million when it opened - and even adjusting for inflation that only amounts to $14 million - meaning Holiday more than doubled up on the original film. It helps that the once mostly-unknown cast has gone on to bigger and better things - and have established themselves - it also helps that the overwhelming African American audience (87%) responded with an A+ Cinemascore - meaning it had great word-of-mouth. In terms of comparison, it out-grossed all but one Tyler Perry film (the exception being Madea Goes to Jail) and nearly equaled the exceptional opening of last year's Think Like a Man ($33.6 million). The movie has found wide appeal and with little in the way of direct competition, it should easily pass the $75 million mark and should settle somewhere in the $85 million total.

3) LAST VEGAS

Having the best hold out of any film in the top 10, Last Vegas dipped just 20% and gained a spot (it was fourth place last week) and took in $8.85 million to raise its total to just under $47 million. Not only will it pass $50 million by next weekend, but it will surpass Woman in Black ($54.3 million) to become the highest-grossing film for CBS Films. Not bad for a group of old guys - granted, truly impressive and talented old guys.

4) FREE BIRDS

Trading places with Last Vegas - by dropping a spot from last week - the time-traveling turkey in Free Birds dropped a mild 25% and wound up with $8.3 million, giving it a new total of $42.2 million. It's now looking like it will be able to recoup its $55 million budget, though it's likely not going to make it too far past that point with Frozen on the near horizon. Still, for a movie that's been getting a lot of flack, it has to be seen as the best-case scenario and not the total disaster it originally seemed.

5) BAD GRANDPA

Taking a big hit from last weekend, Bad Grandpa tumbled from second to fifth place, shedding 32.3% of its audience in the process. Taking in $7.7 million, the comedy from the Jackass brand raised its total up to $90.2 million and should top $100 million in the next couple weeks.

Outside the top five: Gravity continued it's impressive run, adding in $6.28 million (sixth place) and now stands at $240.55 million - good enough to break into the top five for the year (passing Fast 6) and should top that $250 million mark soon enough.

Ender's Game passed the $50 million mark by taking in $6.2 million (seventh place) for a new total of $53.77 million. Still, that number is less than half of its reported $110 million budget and it's losing steam fast. It will probably wind up with less than $75 million and the chance for a franchise is likely dust in the wind.

Dallas Buyers Club expanded to 184 theaters and jumped 179.5% - and into the top 12 - with $1.78 million. The critically-acclaimed drama has now earned just over $3 million and is likely to continue to see expansion in the coming weeks.

Alexander Payne's Nebraska opened in four theaters with $140,000 for a per-theater average of $35,000 - an impressive number, but for Payne, it on the low end considering his earlier efforts. It remains to be seen what a wider release will do for the film.

Next week, everyone and their dog's mother is going to be attending The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which I'm going out on a limb to predict is going to be one of the biggest films of the year. I know I'm looking forward to it and if early reviews are any indication, this is one YA series that gets things right - unlike so very many other films that attempt to walk the line (though they don't benefit in having the talented and red hot miss Jennifer Lawrence to help things along). There is also the comedy Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn playing a man who, through some wacky coincidence at the sperm bank, discovers he is the father to over 500 children - hilarity ensues. It actually doesn't look half bad - it's just too bad it's going up against a juggernaut.

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