After “Ender’s Game” posted somewhat disappointing numbers last weekend, heavily anticipated sequel “Thor: The Dark World” looks like it’s in much better position, with the Disney distribution tracking for an opening near $100 million. Also looking to have an impact at the box office this weekend is “12 Years a Slave,” which gets a nationwide expansion after putting up some very nice limited numbers over the last couple of weeks. It should also be the last weekend that “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” lands in the top 10 after a very steady box office run for distributor Sony.
As recent releases like “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” have shown, there is no stopping Marvel releases right now, placing “Thor: The Dark World” in a great position to end up with enormous worldwide box office numbers. Also helping is the fact that the first “Thor” was fairly well-received by both critics and audiences, leading to a steady $449 million worldwide total just a couple years ago. Since the release of “Thor,” the Marvel brand has also significantly expanded, which should provide a tailwind for “The Dark World” as it launches at more than 3,800 total theaters.
While the original “Thor” managed only $65 million in its opening weekend in 2011 as it competed with blockbuster “Fast Five,” “The Dark World” has much less overall competition for mainstream audiences, mostly thanks to the soft opening of “Ender’s Game.” With strong buzz, decent reviews and the proven Marvel brand at its back, “Thor: The Dark World” should be able to crack $90 million this weekend and could even make a run at $100 million. Aided by more than $100 million in foreign revenue already, “Thor: The Dark World” is on track to cruise past $500 million and make a run at $800 million worldwide.