'Thor: Ragnarok' lays the hammer down with a $121 million debut

ScreenerBlog

With the financial failure of films like Suburbicon, Jigsaw, Geostorm and The Snowman, October was a pretty dismal month at the box office. Luckily, the God of thunder is here to lay the hammer down. Thor: Ragnarok debuted to $121 million on 4,080 screens, the seventh largest opening (out of 17 films) for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reviews for this one have been strong, as has audience reception—the film received an A CinemaScore—which could mean a strong hold in the weeks to come. One factor there will be the November 17 release of Justice League. If reception is poor—as was the case with Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad—we could be looking at a late November boost for Thor. If it’s another Wonder Woman, the opposite could take place.

This last weekend was Ragnarok’s second in a handful of international markets, whereas the film just opened in Germany, Russia, Mexico, China and Japan. Internationally, Ragnarok has pulled in $306 million for a total worldwide gross of $427 million.

Far, far below Ragnarok’s $121 million was second place finisher A Bad Moms Christmas, which bowed to $17  million on 3,615 screens. That’s a drop from the $23.8 million earned by last year’s Bad Moms on its opening weekend, but still nothing for distributor STX to be upset about given the film’s $28 million price tag. A Bad Moms Christmas actually opened on Wednesday, bringing its total domestic gross to $21.5 million.

The rest of the top five went to holdovers: Jigsaw (weekend gross $6.7 million, total gross $28.8 million), Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (weekend gross $4.6 million, total gross $42.9 million) and Geostorm (weekend gross $3 million, total gross $28.7 million against a reported $120 million budget—yowch!).

The big story among limited releases was Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, which opened to $375,612 on four screens. That gives the film a $93,903 per-theatre average, easily the highest of the year so far. (That record was previously held by The Big Sick, which snagged a $84,315 debut PTA over the summer.) Distributor A24 will expand to selected markets this weekend before going national over Thanksgiving.

More disappointing on the PTA front was Rob Reiner’s LBJ, which opened to $1.1 million on 659 screens for a $1,727 average. Also out in limited release were My Friend Dahmer ($45,000 on four screens), Last Flag Flying ($42,000 on four screens), Blade of the Immortal ($42,000 on 30 screens), Wait For Your Laugh ($17,600 on two screens), Gilbert ($8,362 on one screen), Bad Grandmas ($3,410 on one screen) and Frank Serpico ($2,238 on one screen).