Friday Report: 'Thor' Wields Mighty First Day

by Brandon Gray

May 7, 2011

On Friday, Thor claimed an estimated $25.7 million at 3,955 locations, handily dominating the day. The Marvel Comics adaptation's opening salvo wasn't as thunderous as Fast Five's $34.3 million nor recent summer starters like the Iron Man movies and X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($35.3 million), but it was close to Clash of the Titans (2010) ($26.1 million).

Thor had the third highest first-day gross yet for the beginning of a Marvel movie franchise after Spider-Man and Iron Man. In terms of estimated attendance, though, Thor's opening day ranked below Hulk, X-Men and Fantastic Four but was still a bit ahead of Daredevil. Other Marvel movies that fared better on the attendance front included The Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Thor's 3D presentations at a record 2,737 locations accounted for 60 percent of business. Distributor Paramount Pictures noted that Thor's start was well above the last 3D event, Tron: Legacy, which opened at $17.5 million (though that's not quite apples-to-apples because it was a Christmas release).

If Thor follows a similar path as its antecedents, its opening weekend will land in the mid-$60 million range. That's ho-hum as far as summer kick-offs go these days, but that's solid for a lesser superhero movie, especially one that's all about contributing to a larger movie universe (The Avengers (2012)) as opposed to being a stand-alone property. Not every superhero is destined for box office greatness.

Meanwhile, Fast Five slammed on the brakes in its second Friday, grossing an estimated $10.5 million. It was down 69 percent, falling harder and grossing less than Fast and Furious in its second Friday. However, Fast and Furious had a Good Friday bump, skewing the comparison, and Fast Five still has a sizable total gross advantage over its predecessor through the same point, boasting $117.9 million in eight days compared to the last movie's $100 million.

The two wedding-tinged comedies, Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom, debuted in third and fourth, respectively, though Jumping was relatively more impressive. Something made an estimated $4.8 million at 2,904 locations, while Jumping grabbed an estimated $4.2 million at 2,035 locations. Rio rounded out the Top Five with a bit under $2 million, off 46 percent for a $108.7 million tally in 22 days.

Related Story:
Forecast: Will Lightning Strike for 'Thor' After 'Fast Five?'

Related Charts:
Grosses for Friday, May 6, 2011
All Time Opening Days

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