Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder” was lightning at the domestic box office this weekend, securing first place with $143 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
The fourth installment in the “Thor” franchise is the sixth title this year to open over $100 million, continuing an upward trajectory for the theater industry as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time since June 2018 that new films posted nine-figure openings on consecutive weekends.
Delivering the biggest opening yet for a “Thor” film, “Love and Thunder” also marks the fourth-highest domestic opening of the pandemic era and the third-highest opening of 2022 – behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” ($187.4 million) and “Jurassic World Dominion” ($145 million). (Sony and Marvel’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” comfortably holds the pandemic record with $260 million.)
Internationally, “Thor: Love and Thunder” amassed $159 million this weekend for a worldwide cumulative of $302 million – the third-highest global launch of the pandemic era and the second-highest global launch of the year.
Directed by Taika Waititi – who also helmed 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok” – “Thor: Love and Thunder” sees the return of franchise favorites Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson, as well as newcomer Christian Bale and a few Guardians of the Galaxy. But this time, Hemsworth isn’t the only one swinging the mighty Thor’s giant hammer.
Trailing “Thor” at the domestic box office this weekend was Universal Pictures’ “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which added $45.6 million in its second weekend for a North American cumulative of $210.1 million.
Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick” soared to $15 million in its seventh weekend for a North American cumulative of $597.4 million.
Warner Bros.’ “Elvis” grossed $11 million in its third weekend for a North American cumulative of $91.1 million.
Universal Pictures’ “Jurassic World Dominion” devoured $8.4 million in its fifth weekend for a North American cumulative of $350.3 million.
Expanding to wide release next weekend is A24’s “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” which cracked the top 10 at the domestic box office this weekend while playing in only 48 theaters – a rare feat in the struggling arthouse market. The animated/live action charmer based on the popular YouTube character of the same name clinched eighth place in its third weekend at the domestic box office with $340,000 for a North American cumulative of $963,416.
Opening in wide release next weekend are Sony Pictures’ literary adaptation “Where the Crawdads Sing” and Paramount Pictures’ animated “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.”
Los Angeles Times film editor Geoff Berkshire contributed to this report.
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