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'Thor' beats Box Office Openings of 'X-Men' and 'Fantastic Four' in N. America

Published on : May 08, 2011
\'Thor\' beats Box Office Openings of \'X-Men\' and \'Fantastic Four\' in N. America

by: Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter

Successfully introducing a new superhero character to the big screen, Paramount and Marvel Studios’ 3D tentpole "Thor" opened to a strong $66 million from 3,955 theaters at the domestic box office.

Overseas, where the movie bowed first, "Thor" has earned an impressive $176 million in only 11 days -- better than the lifetime international gross of fellow Marvel properties "X-Men" ($139 million) and "Fantastic Four" ($175.9 million). Thor’s worldwide total is $242 million.

“When you look at the Marvel brand, to be at this level of success on a global level is certainly a great story,” Paramount vice chair Rob Moore said. “It was also a great move on Marvel’s part to go with Kenneth Branagh and Chris Hemsworth.”

Thor cost $150 million to produce. All along, Paramount said the film would open better than "X-Men" and "Fantastic Four," which debuted to roughly $56 million domestically, but not reach the heights of "Spider-Man" or "Iron Man," which cleared $100 million.

Fanboys over the age of 25 fueled "Thor," which received a B+ CinemaScore. A full 72% of the audience was over the age of 25, while 63% were males. Teens and younger adults have been noticeably missing from the multiplex, a trend that continued with "Thor."

Universal’s box office hit "Fast Five" continued to make headlines as well. Overseas, "Fast Five" beat "Thor" for the weekend as it expanded into 58 territories, grossing an estimated $86.6 million for a new international total of $184.8 million.

"Fast Five" was expected to win the overseas race because of its expansion. Thor, grossing $46 million for the weekend, has already opened in most of those markets.

Domestically, "Fast Five" fell 62% in its second weekend to $32.5 million for a domestic cume of $139.9 million and worldwide total of $324.7 million.

"Fast Five" placed No. 2 for the weekend at the domestic box office, followed by Screen Gems’ African-American comedy "Jumping the Broom," which overperformed in grossing an estimated $13.7 million from 2,035 locations.

"Jumping the Broom"’s ensemble cast includes Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Angela Bassett,Loretta Devine and Mike Epps. The film received an A CinemaScore across all demos and categories, a rarity.

Salim Akil directed the comedy, which centers around two families from two very different environments who gather on Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding.

The third new wide release of the weekend was femme-driven comedy "Something Borrowed," which met expectations in grossing $13.2 million from 2,904 locations.

The movie, distributed by Warner Bros., was fully financed by Alcon Entertainment ("The Blind Side").

"Something Borrowed" stars Ginnifer GoodwinKate HudsonJohn Krasinski and Colin EgglesfieldHilary Swank also is a producer on the film, which is based on the book by Emily Giffin. Pic received a B CinemaScore, although females -- who made up the majority of the audience -- gave it a B+.

Both "Something Borrowed" and "Jumping the Broom" are expected to benefit from Mother’s Day.

The other high-profile opening of the weekend was Jodie Foster’s "The Beaver," which launched in a limited run. Headlining Mel Gibson, the drama got off to soft start for Summit Entertainment, grossing an estimated $104,000 from 22 locations in top markets for a per screen average of 4,745.

Foster directed "The Beaver," as well as stars in, alongside Gibson, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence. The specialty film cost $21 million, with much of the budget covered through foreign presales.

"The Beaver," about a man’s transformation through the use of a puppet, makes its international premiere later this month at the Cannes Film Festival, where it plays out of competition.

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