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'Thor: Ragnarok' Targets $100M+ Domestic Debut, Kicking Off the Holiday 2017 Season

by Brad Brevet
 

 
November 2, 2017

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $46.8 million on Friday, Disney and Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok is currently pacing to deliver an opening weekend around $115 million if not a little higher. Like the last eight films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film earned an "A" CinemaScore from opening day moviegoers.

STX's A Bad Moms Christmas is looking to perform right on industry expectations, delivering an estimated $5.5 million on Friday, bringing the film's domestic cume to $10 million and headed toward a three-day weekend around $15-16 million and a five-day total around $20 million.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Thor: Ragnarok delivered the seventh largest preview gross for a title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe last night, bringing in $14.5 million, which is just behind the $15.4 million Spider-Man: Homecoming brought in earlier this year, en route to a $117 million debut. A list of all preview grosses for MCU titles is just below.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron - $27.6m preview ($191.27m opening)
  • Captain America: Civil War - $25m preview ($179.14m opening)
  • Marvel's The Avengers - $18.7m from midnight screenings ($207.44m opening)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - $17m preview ($146.5m opening)
  • Iron Man 3 - $15.6m preview ($174.14m opening)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming - $15.4m preview ($117m opening)
  • Thor: Ragnarok - $14.5m preview
  • Guardians of the Galaxy - $11.2m preview ($94.32m opening)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier - $10.3m preview ($95.02m opening)
  • Doctor Strange - $9.4m preview ($85m opening)
  • Iron Man 2 - $7.5m from midnight screenings ($128.12m opening)
  • Thor: The Dark World - $7.1m preview ($85.74m opening)
  • Ant-Man - $6.4m preview ($57.23m opening)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger - $4m from midnight screenings ($65.06m opening)
  • Iron Man - $3.5m preview ($98.6m opening)
  • Thor - $3.25m from midnight screenings ($65.72m opening)
  • The Incredible Hulk - $1.6m from midnight screenings ($55.4m opening)

On the international front, Ragnarok opened in Germany on Tuesday and has grossed $4.4 million as it heads into the weekend. The film opens in China and Japan today with a total international haul of $164.5 million as of end of day Thursday, November 2.

Additionally, STX is reporting A Bad Moms Christmas added another $2 million yesterday, bringing the film's two-day cume to $4.52 million.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Given the November opening weekend record is currently $158 million set by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire back in 2013 don't expect Disney and Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok to top that. However, a top five opening, placing it among blockbuster debuts from the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, isn't out of the realm of possibility. The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is earning great reviews and looks to dwarf all other contenders this weekend, including STX's A Bad Moms Christmas, which kicked off its run yesterday and is hoping for a five-day haul north of $20 million.

Opening in 4,080 theaters, Thor: Ragnarok carries a strong, 73 rating on Metacritic, ranking among the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside the likes of Captain America: Civil War (75) and Guardians of the Galaxy (76), the latter of which also opened in 4,080 theaters and delivered a $94.3 million opening in 2014, which adjusts to $104.2 million based on today's ticket prices.

That said, Disney's expectations for Ragnarok's opening are keeping relatively safe, anticipating a $100+ million opening while industry expectations climb as high as $120 million. If it's to find a place among the top five November openers, however, it will need to best the $125 million opening for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, set back in 2010.

Looking at IMDb page view comparisons to films such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange and Thor: The Dark World, Ragnarok is pacing ahead of all three as well as Spider-Man: Homecoming at the same point in the release cycle. In addition to that information, the return of Hulk, praised performances from franchise newcomers Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson, as well as reviews much better than those for Dark World (54 on Metacritic) has us leaning toward a $120 million forecast, though with some measure of trepidation.

An opening of that size would mean a $29,413 per theater average, which would be the sixth best opening per theater average for an MCU title behind Guardians 2's $33,704 from earlier this year. Of course, helping reach that figure will be an "opening-night" fan event on Thursday beginning at 6 PM in 600+ locations, featuring early access to the film, exclusive content and collectible giveaways. Additionally, there will be the standard Thursday night previews beginning at 7PM, and the film will be playing on 3,400+ 3D screens, 391 IMAX screens, 616 Premium Large Format screens and in 204 D-Box locations come Friday.

Internationally, Thor: Ragnarok debuted with $109 million last weekend and expanded into Germany and Austria on Tuesday and opens in Russia, Mexico, Thailand and several others today before opening in China, Japan and India tomorrow.

STX's A Bad Moms Christmas is looking at a second place finish after opening in theaters yesterday (11/1) with a somewhat soft $2.5 million and a "B" CinemaScore compared to the "A" for the first film. Comparisons to other Wednesday, R-rated comedy openers such as We're the Millers, Vacation and Horrible Bosses 2 are the best we can come up with based on this performance (it's pacing too far behind Tammy both on opening day and in terms of IMDb page views) and of that lot Bad Moms Christmas is pacing behind all three when looking at IMDb page views leading up to release.

Of the three comps mentioned, a three-day performance closer to the $14.6 million for Vacation and $15.4 million for Horrible Bosses 2 seems the best bet, though it could struggle to reach even those heights. At this time we're anticipating a three-day around $14 million. Whether it outperforms that forecast is one thing, but the bigger question is whether it can maintain a foothold throughout the month and deliver throughout the holiday season.

Third place is likely to go to Lionsgate's Jigsaw, which came up short of expectations last weekend, but still managed to secure the top spot. This weekend we're anticipating a drop around 60% if not more, currently forecasting a weekend around $6.5 million.

Lionsgate should also finish in fourth position with Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. We're anticipating a drop similar to last weekend's 52.6% dip and a third weekend around $5 million pushing the film's domestic cume just shy of $45 million after 17 days in release.

Look for Geostorm to round out the top five with $2.5 million.

The weekend's other new wide release is Electric Entertainment's LBJ in which Woody Harrelson stars as the former President of the United States. The film is opening in 659 theaters and we're currently expecting it to come up a bit shy of the top ten, finishing around $1 - 1.3 million or so.

Also outside the top ten, look for WB and New Line's It to top $325 million domestically by the end of the weekend, pushing it ahead of Suicide Squad and placing 53rd all-time domestically.

Limited releases this weekend including Lionsgate's release of Amazon Studios' Last Flag Flying into four theaters; A24 will release Lady Bird, also into four locations; Yash Raj's ITTEFAQ will open in 67 theaters; and Magnolia will be releasing Takashi Miike's Blade of the Immortal.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Thor: Ragnarok (4,080 theaters) - $120.0 M
  • A Bad Moms Christmas (3,615 theaters) - $14.0 M
  • Jigsaw (2,941 theaters) - $6.7 M
  • Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2,202 theaters) - $4.9 M
  • Geostorm (2,666 theaters) - $2.5 M
  • Happy Death Day (2,180 theaters) - $2.3 M
  • Thank You for Your Service (2,084 theaters) - $2.0 M
  • Blade Runner 2049 (1,464 theaters) - $2.0 M
  • Only The Brave (1,939 theaters) - $1.9 M
  • The Foreigner (1,456 theaters) - $1.7 M

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