Faced with an increasingly dispiriting reality, Americans chose to spend their weekend laughing at the funny, hunky god-man and his angry green friend in Taika Waititi’s colorful, irreverent Thor: Ragnarok. Forsooth, the 17th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe enjoyed a massive No. 1 opening, grossing $121 million at the domestic box office and setting a November record in China. But just as no film came close to Ragnarok’s weekend gross (the quickie sequel A Bad Moms Christmas landed at a very distant No. 2 with $17 million), none could compete with the per-theater averages of Lady Bird, the solo directing debut of actor-writer Greta Gerwig. The coming-of-age film—the recipient of a rare-as-an-Infinity-Stone A grade from The A.V. Club’s film editor, A.A. Dowd—unexpectedly averaged a huge $93,903 per theater in its very limited opening.
Meanwhile, the movie with the other Lady Bird (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, an amusing coincidence if you care about the sub-tabloid personal lives of indie directors), the Rob-Reiner-directed LBJ sank into the No. 14 spot with $1.14 million, despite opening in over 650 theaters. My Friend Dahmer and Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying had modest-but-healthy limited release openings, averaging $11,250 and $10,500 per theater respectively. Takashi Miike’s 100th movie, Blade Of The Immortal, fizzled in its Stateside release, averaging a mere $1,400 per theater.
That about does it for new releases, as few studios or distributors seemed foolish enough to try to counter-program against the mighty Thor. Jigsaw, which topped the underwhelming pre-Halloween weekend, dropped to No. 3 with $6.7 million, while its Byzantinely-titled runner-up, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, went to No. 4 with $4.6 million. The costly, Roland-Emmerich-lite flop Geostorm came in at No. 5 with just $3 million, narrowly beating out Happy Death Day (No. 6, $2.8 million).