As expected, the latest Marvel adaptation Thor easily thumped the competition on its opening weekend, with its $66 million far outpacing the $342,000 total earned domestically by Kenneth Branagh’s last film, Sleuth. (It also crushed Branagh’s Peter’s Friends, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and As You Like It.) But relative to summer/superhero-movie expectations, Thor underperformed conspicuously: As Brandon Gray at Box Office Mojo reminds us, that $66 million was not only less than megahit franchise-starters like Spider-Man and Iron Man, but also weaker (if not in gross than in attendance) than X-Men (and X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the Ang Lee Hulk, and Fantastic Four. It raises questions whether the character can survive on his own without having other Avengers to carry him. The week’s other wide releases more or less tied for third, but their middling numbers tell different stories: The $13.7 million won by Jumping The Broom looks great against its frugal $6.6 million budget while the $13.1 million earned by the poorly received rom-com Something Borrowed looks weak against its $35 million budget. With all these weak openers, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy Bridesmaids should be in a prime position to capitalize, particularly since no studio thought to run anything against it.
The weakness extended to limited releases, too. The Opus Dei movie There Be Dragons made just $2,660 per screen on 259 screens for $689,000 total, not enough to keep the general public from associating Opus Dei with Paul Bettany’s albino self-flagellator in The Da Vinci Code. It seems unlikely, too, that Mel Gibson will change his tarnished image with The Beaver, which earned a tepid $4,700 per screen, despite its blatant appeal to furry hand-puppet fetishists. And it would appear that Mickey Rourke fans listened to Mickey Rourke and avoided the new Mickey Rourke movie Passion Play. At $1,000 per screen on two screens, it didn’t make enough for an average mortgage payment.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.