Box Office Report: 'Thor: Ragnarok' Kicks Off the Holiday Box Office Season in Grand Fashion

Box Office Report: 'Thor: Ragnarok' Kicks Off the Holiday Box Office Season in Grand Fashion

Nov 06, 2017

Thor: RagnarokHere's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Thor: Ragnarok - $121.0 million ($121.0 million total)

2. A Bad Moms Christmas - $17.0 million ($21.5 million total)

3. Jigsaw - $6.7 million ($28.8 million total)

4. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween - $4.6 million ($42.9 million total)

5. Geostorm - $3.0 million ($28.7 million total)

6. Happy Death Day - $2.8 million ($52.9 million total)

7. Thank You For Your Service - $2.26 million ($7.3 million total)

8. Blade Runner 2049 - $2.23 million ($85.4 million total)

9. Only the Brave - $1.9 million ($15.2 million total)

10. The Foreigner - $1.5 million ($31.9 million total)


The Big Stories

Welcome to the holiday movie season everyone. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will become one of the biggest films of all-time if not THE biggest. Justice League is likely to continue a string of $300 million domestic grossers for its hardcore DC fanboys. We’re a few weeks and months away from those things coming to fruition.

In the meantime, it’s Marvel’s turn to take a shot at becoming a spoiler in the box office race. A rare moment for them to be the underdog with Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg on a search for Spock (or someone comparable) in DC’s long-awaited Avengers-esque team-up. Does Thor: Ragnarok have a shot at becoming the comic book champion of the season? It may still be an uphill battle but it’s certainly off to a promising start.


Best Reviewed Marvel Film Of All Time?

That is a point that Disney has been making in the ads leading up to the release. The studios sure love Rotten Tomatoes and critics when that score is high, don’t they? Of the 16 films in the official "Cinematic Universe," Marvel has been given little push back from critics. Every single one of them has received a fresh score from reviewers, with seven of them at 89% or higher. Well, now that number can extend to eight out of the 17 films, thanks to Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, which has settled in at 93%, nestled in-between Marvel’s The Avengers (92%) and the film that started it all, Iron Man (94%). In other words, not quite the best-reviewed Marvel film of all-time.

Reviews are great and all but this is a money game and Ragnarok just posted the seventh best opening in the Cinematic Universe, just ahead of this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, which started with $117 million. That is a clear victory over the previous stand-alone God of Thunder films, which opened with $65.7 and $85.7 million, respectively. Both Thor films are in the bottom five of total grosses ahead of just Ant-Man ($180.2), Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6) and The Incredible Hulk ($134.8).

But combine Thor and the Hulk together now and Ragnarok finds itself in the unique position of hitting $300 million domestic. None of the Marvel films that have opened to $98 million or higher have failed to reach that milestone, so that will be something to keep an eye on when Justice League cuts into its audience in two weeks. Twenty-eight of the 33 films to open to at least $115 million have also cleared the $300 million mark. Add in an international total of $306 million and Ragnarok already sits at $427 million worldwide. Thor: The Dark World did $438 million outside the U.S. and $644 million total.


Tales of the Top Ten

Bad Moms was considered a surprise hit last summer – to everyone who ignored that the market lacked a “night out” film for the ladies. After earning $113 million domestic, a sequel was greenlit just before Christmas of 2016 for release three weeks before Thanksgiving in 2017. One take away from the film that was hidden as hard as possible from critics (and even its Rotten Tomatoes score was withheld until after its release) is that the holiday season may not be the best time for this kind of raunchy “R”-rated film.

Though Sisters (60% RT) was a bit of a breakout hit in 2015 with $87 million, last year’s Office Christmas Party (44%) only chucked up $55 million. Horrible Bosses 2 (35%) tried to capitalize by sequelizing a surprise summer hit in November and came up short at $54 million. A Bad Moms Christmas (31%) appears to be headed for this kind of a finish with just $21 million in its first five days; less than a million ahead of what Office Christmas Party had. Guess everyone who took the Girls Trip this summer didn’t need another one so soon.

The rest of the top ten is a group of unimpressive holdovers. Even less impressive was Rob Reiner’s LBJ. It was only in 659 theaters but could not muster up more than $1.13 million. Anything from a $4,552 per-screen-average down to as low as $2,579 would have been enough to earn a spot anywhere from tenth to fifth in this week’s top ten. (Its estimated PSA was $1,727.)

No doubt Sean Hannity will once again be bragging that his executive-produced Let There Be Light managed to pull off that unimpressive feat in 700 theaters and do what Reiner’s LBJ couldn’t in 659, making $1.63 million. That film’s PSA is estimated at $2,541; the 15th best on the charts this week and less than The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Florida Project and Loving Vincent, amongst others like Bad Grandmas on one screen. It made $3,410.   

Blade Runner 2049 and Geostorm are still financial drains for Warner Bros. Lionsgate’s Jigsaw and Boo 2 are headed in the vicinities of our first estimates for them; neither of which are particularly impressive, but Jigsaw at least has a $30+ million boost from overseas. Only Universal’s Happy Death Day looks to join Thor on the profit train in the Top Ten. It has made an additional $26 million overseas.

In a bit of truly happy news, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird had the best launch on any film released in just four theaters this year. The A24 film, considered a potential Oscar player (and definite Independent Spirit nominee), started with $375,612. The previous best of 2017 was Sofia Coppola’s remake of The Beguiled, which opened to $229,292. Last year, only A24’s eventual Oscar-winning Best Picture Moonlight had a better comparable opening with $402,075. Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying also opened on four screens but only to $42,000.

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo.]

Categories: Features, Geek, Indie
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