Unfortunately, Thor is no Tom Cruise. Whereas TOP GUN: MAVERICK dropped only 29% in its second weekend, THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER were down 68% from its opening three days last weeks to come in at $46M. While it was still good enough to win the weekend, it was nonetheless the biggest second-week drop of any of the three other THOR movies.
It also continues a disappointing run of the last three Marvel-character films, which have suffered steep declines after their opening weekend – MORBIUS fell 67% in February and DR. STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS dropped 67% in May. MORBIUS did not recover and went on to a disappointing total run of $74M while DR STRANGE did come back to life with its $411M total to date.
Next weekend will be essential to the overall result we can expect from THOR, as it will be up against formidable competition from Jordan Peele’s NOPE, which will take over most of the Premium Large Format (PLF) screens at exhibitors. We are forecasting that THOR will wind up with a domestic gross of approximately $300M. Both Disney and exhibitors had hoped for more from Thor, based on last weekend’s record-breaking opening.
MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU finished in second place with a weekend gross of $26M, which was down only 44% from the prior weekend. This was a strong performance in its third week, especially because it was up against the opening of a new animated film, PAWS OF FURY: THE LEGEND OF HANK. Clearly, the family audience preferred GRU over HANK, which was only able to sell $6.3M in the Domestic market.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING took third place on its opening weekend by grossing $17M. The movie is based on a bestselling book by Delia Owens and was produced by Reese Witherspoon. This finish was on the higher end of pre-opening estimates. One might think that a successful opening would require strong reviews, yet almost all critics panned it, delivering an un-fresh 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Audiences had a decidedly different opinion, giving it a 95% score, which is one of the largest differences between critics and audiences in a long time. This recalls the old debate, about whether critics or audiences are more important to a movie’s box office success. While it’s best to have both on your side, if you can only have one then it seems that word of mouth from paying customers is the more important and can carry a picture on to a successful run.
MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS was the other significant new opening of the weekend, playing on just under 1,000 screens where it earned $1.9M and a rather soft per-screen average of $19K. It may have done better with a different release date, without having to fight for the same demographic as WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.