The Washington Post

‘THOR: THE DARK WORLD’: Sequel tops box office ($86M) as Avengers brand flexes more muscle

YET ANOTHER Marvel sequel is enjoying the massive post-”Avengers” bounce.

In May, “Iron Man 3” grossed $174.1-million on its opening weekend (still the year’s biggest debut) — a 34-percent bump over “Iron Man 2’s” debut.

Now, “Thor: The Dark World” has opened to a muscular $86.1-million domestic gross — a 31-percent spike from the 2011 original — according to studio estimates.

O BROTHER, WHERE START THOU? Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in the Thor sequel. (Jay Maidment via AP/MARVEL STUDIOS)

Iron Man was already a franchise before “The Avengers” landed last year, of course, but Joss Whedon’s team-up film of assembled Marvel heroes galvanized fan interest in this universe -- as “Avengers” opened to a record $207.4-million (not adjusted for inflation).

The run of recent success bodes well for the next Avenger sequel out of the gate: next April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

“Thor: The Dark World” is Disney’s biggest November opening ever -- topping 2004’s “The Incredibles” ($70.5-million; not adjusted for inflation). The Thor sequel is also the ninth-biggest November opening ever — trailing four Harry Potter films, three “Twilight” films and “Skyfall.”

“Thor” 2 has already grossed $327-million worldwide — nearly 75-percent of that from overseas markets.

HAMMER TIME: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and a Kronan in “The Dark World.” (Jay Maidment via AP/MARVEL STUDIOS)


* Thor is the third Marvel title character this year to open a film north of $50-million. Disney/Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” grossed a whopping $174.1-million in its domestic debut in May, and Fox’s “The Wolverine” opened to $53.1-million in July.

* Thor’s sequel well exceeds the average opening gross for a Marvel character film: $68.3-million.

* Since 2008, the eight films in this Marvel universe have grossed more than $5.3-billion worldwide.

* Marvel characters have now grossed $5.66-billion domestically — though the estate of creator Jack Kirby could still stand to be thrown, oh, a cool million in gratitude.

NOT QUITE HARVARD YARD: Natalie Portman as Jane Foster beside her mane man. (Jay Maidment/AP)
Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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