Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok got off to a great start at the domestic box office this weekend, pulling in an impressive $14.5 million from Thursday sneak previews. This puts it on track for an opening weekend in the $100 million range, and when paired with the international box office debut of $107.6 million, it guarantees yet another Marvel hit as the 17th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As of right now, the movie stands at $164.5 million in international markets, with a worldwide total of $179 million including this Thursday domestic sneak peek tally. The movie has almost broken even from its $180 million production budget, and by the end of the weekend, it's expected to have earned roughly $400 million worldwide, with key international debuts in China and Japan this weekend as well.
It seems that Marvel's weekly "Thorsday" marketing campaign paid off, with this sequel easily besting the previous Marvel movies to debut in early November. 2014's Thor: The Dark World earned $7.1 million in its Thursday run, en route to $85.7 million, while last year's Doctor Strange pulled in $9.4 million on Thursday, with an $85 million opening weekend. The Thor: Ragnarok Thursday tally also came in ahead of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy ($11.2 million), Captain America: Winter Soldier ($10.2 million) and the R-rated Deadpool ($12.7 million), but it still came short of both Marvel movies released this year. The summer kick-off movie Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 earned $17 million in Thursday previews, which lead to a $146.5 million opening weekend, while Spider-Man: Homecoming took in $15.4 million, en route to a $117 million debut.
This new report also reveals that this Thor sequel earned a rare five stars out of five from ComScore/Screen Engine Post Trak audiences, which means this movie is already just as big a hit with the fans as it is with the critics. As of today, Thor: Ragnarok has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which dipped a bit from its 96% tally earlier this week, but still ties 2008's Iron Man as the best-reviewed movie in Marvel Cinematic Universe history, which in and of itself is quite the impressive feat. Whether or not this translates into a bigger box office debut than projected remains to be seen. This Thursday tally will likely lead to a Friday that will score between $37 million and $42 million, with a three-day weekend projected to fall somewhere between $105 million and $110 million.
As for the international box office, the previously-reported international tally of $164.5 million does not include the reported (yet not confirmed) $16 million from China in its opening day, which could lead to a huge weekend in the Middle Kingdom. It is expected to best Doctor Strange's Chinese opening weekend of $43.7 million last year, and come close to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's $48 million. Thor 3 also opened in Germany on Tuesday, capitalizing on local holidays, earning $4.4 million heading into the weekend, while opening with $3 million in Mexico, far outpacing the debuts of both Doctor Strange and Guardians 2 in the country.
As of now, the U.K. leads the way for international markets with $21.3 million, but that will surely change when the Chinese numbers come in. The film is also faring quite well in South Korea, which comes in second place internationally with $19.3 million. Since this was also the first year that there were three Marvel Cinematic Universe movies released, the strong showing of Thor: Ragnarok thus far at the end of the year proves that there may be no such thing as "superhero fatigue," not yet at least. You can visit Deadline for more on Thor: Ragnarok's Thursday debut, and be sure to check back on Sunday for the top 10 box office estimates.