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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ on Track for $90 Million-Plus Opening Weekend Next Month

New film looks to outperform $85 million opening for ”Thor: The Dark World“ in 2013

The October box office is looking bleak, but the Odinson will be coming to the rescue on November 3, when Marvel releases “Thor: Ragnarok.” And the early tracking numbers are huge, with projections set for a $90-100 million opening.

That range would be a step up from the last “Thor” film, “The Dark World,” as well as last November’s Marvel release, “Doctor Strange.” Both films opened to $85 million. If “Ragnarok” can finish above this projection range, 2017 will be the first year that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has released three films with $100 million-plus openings. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opened to $146.5 million, while “Spider-Man: Homecoming” opened to $117 million.

“Ragnarok” will kick off what is expected to be a busy final two months of the year for movie theaters, and the business couldn’t come soon enough. While the box office saw a rebound with the best September in industry history thanks in large part to the release of “It,” no film in October is expected to have a better opening than the disappointing $32.7 for “Blade Runner 2049.”

This poor outlook for the month has led to a stock market hit for the major nationwide theater chains, with AMC taking a 7.7 percent drop on Monday. Regal Entertainment was down 4.4 percent while Cinemark fell 3.5 percent. The year-to-date box office revenue for 2017 is expected to be down by more than 5 percent by the end of October, and while “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Justice League,” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” are expected to provide relief, the final tally for 2017 is expected to fall short of that of 2016.

“Thor: Ragnarok” sees the titular hero imprisoned on a faraway planet without his famous hammer, Mjolnir. Forced to perform as a gladiator against his fellow Avenger, The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor must find a way to escape the planet to prevent the evil Hel (Cate Blanchett) from bringing about the prophesized Ragnarok, which will destroy Asgard.

Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, and Anthony Hopkins also star. Taika Waititi directed the film from a script by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost.