There are a staggering number of complicated metrics that economists, sociologist, psychologists, and other “How are people doing?”-ologists have used over the years to determine the health of a society: Life expectancy, GDP, how many people get killed in a global pandemic every year, how close the country is to sliding into autocratic fascism, etc. But—if we’re being completely honest—many of these metrics have the major drawback of being total and absolute bummers. Which is why we here at The A.V. Club’s Newswire desk have now invented our own measurement of the health of a functioning democracy: The Mjolnir Index, a.k.a., “How much money has the most recent Thor movie made at the box office in comparison to the other films in the franchise?” And baby, from that point of view, we’re looking at nothing but up, up, up!
Said film is, of course, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love And Thunder, which, despite receiving a pretty weak critical reception in recent weeks (and despite reports of new COVID variants raging whoops no, that’s the bad metric, just think about the hammers), is set to have the best opening weekend out of any Thor movie ever.
That is, admittedly, grading on a bit of a curve: The first two Thors, directed by Kenneth Branagh, were not exactly barn burners when they hit theaters in 2011 and 2013, bringing in just $65 million (Thor) and $85 million (The Dark World) on their opening weekends. Waititi’s own Ragnarok, generally held up as the best of the movies, did quite a bit better in 2017, scoring $122 million in its opening weekend. But Love And Thunder is expected to sail past even that, per THR: Even at Disney’s more conservative estimates, Waititi’s film will likely bring in at least $135 million this weekend, making it the best Thor earner to date, and establishing once and for all that everything is fine, just fine, things can’t be going bad if the hammer man movies are still making this much cash. We repeat this to ourselves. We repeat this to ourselves, until the repetition makes it true.