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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Breaks Record With $121 Million Opening

Marvel is now the first studio to produce three $100 million openings in one year, as the MCU reaches $13 billion in lifetime grosses

After the worst October in a decade, the box office got a boost by the Odinson this weekend as Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” soared to a $121 million opening from 4,080 screens. Not only does it leave the $85 million made by its predecessor, “Thor: The Dark World,” and “Doctor Strange” in the dust, it also beats the $117 million made in July by the last Marvel Cinematic Universe film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

“Thor: Ragnarok” is the eighth MCU film to gross over $100 million in its opening, with three of those films coming from 2017 alone. That’s the first time in box office history that a production studio has released three films that posted nine-digit starts. It also means that the film’s distributor, Disney, will have eight $100 million-plus openings to its name in the last two years after next month’s release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is widely expected to open to more than $200 million.

The growing interest in the already wildly popular MCU as “Avengers: Infinity War” nears helped fuel this late-year boom, but “Thor: Ragnarok” was also embraced on its own merits as critics and audiences praised the light, humorous tone adopted by director Taika Waititi. The film has a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the best score for an MCU film since the 94 percent made by its launch title, “Iron Man.” Opening night audiences were just as effusive in their praise, giving Thor his first ever A on CinemaScore and the MCU their ninth straight A. The first “Thor” earned a B+ in 2011, while “The Dark World” earned an A- in 2013.

Overseas, where the film has been out for two weekends, “Ragnarok” now has a total of $306 million, with $151 million of that coming from this weekend from a release suite that included China (November record $55.6 million), Mexico and India. On IMAX, the film was released on a record 1,187 screens worldwide and has grossed $34 million to date. With a global cume of $427 million, “Thor: Ragnarok” has pushed the MCU’s lifetime grosses to $5 billion domestic and $13 billion worldwide.

Coming in second this weekend is STX’s “A Bad Moms Christmas,” which opened on Wednesday and will post a five-day opening of $21.5 million from 3,615 screens. It’s a decent result for the $28 million comedy sequel, but trackers had the film making $27 million while the first “Bad Moms” made a $23 million opening from a conventional Friday release in summer 2016.

International numbers helped this film make back its production budget in its opening weekend, with $6.6 million made overseas, but the lack of strong performers outside of “Thor” means this weekend’s total revenue is estimated to be down nine percent year-to-year, making the already dim hopes of a full rebound from this summer’s slide by year’s end even dimmer.

STX will be hoping that the film’s early November release will give it legs as a seasonal offering throughout the holiday season. Critics largely gave the film a thumbs down with a 31 percent RT score, compared to 58 percent for the first “Bad Moms.” CinemaScore polls gave the film a B, compared to an A for its predecessor.

Lionsgate’s Halloween films came in third and fourth, with “Jigsaw,” which made $2.2 million on Halloween, heading towards $6.4 million in its second weekend for a ten-day total of $28.5 million. “Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween” is on its way towards $4.6 million in its third weekend for a running total of $43 million. “Geostorm” rounds out the top 5 with $3.2 million and a $29 million total.