Thor: Love and Thunder Is Franchise’s Best Debut

After four movies, Thor continues to bring the house down at the box-office.

“Thor: Love and Thunder ” earned $143 million in its opening weekend in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday. It’s a franchise best for the God of Thunder and another success story of the summer 2022 box office season.

Taika Waititi directed the second Thor film. It was released on 4,375 screens starting Thursday previews. It easily topped the box office, bumping “Minions: The Rise of Gru” into second place. Including international showings, where “Love and Thunder” opened in 47 territories starting in the middle of last week, its global total is already at $302 million.

Each film in the Thor series has seen its popularity grow, something that is rare in film franchises but not unusual for Marvel films. The first film opened to $65.7 million in 2011, followed by $85.7 million for “The Dark World” in 2013 and $122.7 million for 2017’s “Ragnarok.” Waititi, who also directed “Ragnarok,” is widely credited with rejuvenating the series, infusing it with humor, irreverence and leaning into larger-than-life metal aesthetics.

Exit polls indicated that 60 percent of audience members were male, and 53% had between 18-34 years old.

“Love and Thunder” brings back Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman, whose Jane Foster becomes the Mighty Thor. Russell Crowe is also a star as Zeus while Christian Bale plays Gorr, the God Butcher. This film has a production budget reported at $250 million, making it the most expensive Thor movie.

And yet, it’s noteworthy that “Thor: Love and Thunder” isn’t even the biggest Marvel opening of the year. That title is held by “ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, ” which debuted to $185 million in early May on the heels of the box office phenomenon that was “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

With $45.6 million, The Minions came in second with weekend 2. This brings its domestic total up to $210.1 Million and global grosses to $399.9M.

The summer’s workhorse “Top Gun: Maverick” placed third in its seventh weekend in theaters with $15.5 million. With its domestic total currently at $597.4 million, the Tom Cruise film is poised to cross $600 million by Monday — one of only 12 films ever to do so.

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