After a disappointing month at the box office, that saw highly-anticipated movies like Blade Runner 2049 and last weekend's Jigsaw drastically underperform, Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok is looking to give the box office a much-needed boost. We reported yesterday that Thor: Ragnarok earned $107.6 million during its international opening weekend, already earning back more than half of its $180 million production budget before it opens in North America. We're projecting that Thor: Ragnarok will come in at the top end of its recent projections, bringing in an impressive $124.6 million.
This Thor sequel has already made headlines for its critical prowess, with the first wave of Thor: Ragnarok reviews landing 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has continued to impress critics since then, with an amazing 96% rating on RT, with just five negative reviews out of 120. While the RT rating could certainly change between now and its opening this weekend, the movie currently stands as the best-reviewed Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date, beating out the 94% from the very first MCU movie, 2008's Iron Man. It also easily bested both of its predecessors from a critical standpoint, with 2011's Thor earning 77% on RT and 2014's Thor: The Dark World dipping slightly with 66%, which is currently the lowest-rated MCU movie on RT, so Thor: Ragnarok represents quite the comeback for the Thor franchise as a whole already.
The Thor movies have been considered by many to be the weakest link among all of the MCU films, as they both rank near the bottom of the MCU at the box office. 2011's Thor earned $181 million domestic (13th out of the 16 MCU movies) and $449.3 million worldwide (14th) from a $150 million budget, while 2014's Thor: The Dark World took in $206.3 million domestic (12th) and $644.6 million worldwide (10th) from a $170 million budget. If this opening weekend projection for Thor: Ragnarok is accurate, it will rank as the seventh highest debut in MCU history, between Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million) and this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117 million).
Thor: Ragnarok, which include a few Marvel firsts like their first LGBTQ superhero, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and the first "nude scene" featuring Hulk, is expected to open in more than 3,800 theaters this weekend, while it's only competitor, of sorts, STX Entertainment's A Bad Moms Christmas, is opening in roughly 3,500 theaters when it debuts tomorrow, November 1. The ballooning projections for Thor: Ragnarok may be in part to its lack of box office competition, although that is becoming par for the course these days, with studios doing whatever they can to get out of Marvel's way. A Bad Moms Christmas was originally slated to open on November 3 directly against Thor: Ragnarok, but it was pushed by a few days to give it some distance between this MCU behemoth.
Still, A Bad Moms Christmas is expected to perform well, as we're projecting that it will take the second place spot with $25.8 million, just slightly ahead of the $23.8 million that its predecessor, 2016's Bad Moms, made in its surprising opening weekend. Bad Moms, the R-rated comedy starring Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn as the title characters, went on to be one of the surprise box office hits of the year, taking in $113.2 million domestically and $183.9 million worldwide from just a $20 million budget. A Bad Moms Christmas was produced with just a $28 million budget, so if it can put up similar numbers, even going up against a sure-fire blockbuster like Thor: Ragnarok, it could be another big hit for STX.
Box Office Mojo reports that a number of films are arriving in limited release this weekend, such as The Orchard's documentary 11/8/16, Parade Deck Films' comedy Bad Grandmas, Hannover House's drama Battlecreek, Magnolia's action movie Blade of the Immortal, Strand's documentary Dream Boat, Yash Raj's action thriller ITTEFAQ, A24's dramatic comedy Lady Bird, Lionsgate's drama Last Flag Flying, Electric Entertainment's drama LBJ, FilmRise's drama My Friend Dahmer, Archstone's war drama On Wings of Eagles and Vertical Entertainment's sci-fi film Singularity. IFC is also releasing the documentary Frank Serpico on November 1 in limited release. Take a look at the top 10 estimates below and check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.