By Dave McNary
Disney-Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok should dominate the early November box office with $100 million or more in its opening weekend in North America, early projections are showing.
The tentpole should provide a boost to what’s been a downbeat October for moviegoing. Overall box office for the year-to-date is down nearly 5%, according to comScore, with It being the only title in recent months to perform over expectations. “It” was one of five films to open above $100 million, joining Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins.
The franchise launched in 2011 at Paramount, distributing the movie under its deal with Marvel. Its opening weekend was $65.7 million on its way to a final $181 million. Disney and Marvel teamed on 2013’s Thor: The Dark World with an $85.7 million domestic opening and a $206.4 million final total.
About half of the international markets for Thor: Ragnarok will open this week, starting on Oct. 24 in the U.K., followed by France, Italy, Korea, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Indonesia, Philippines, and Taiwan on Oct. 25. Oct. 26 will see Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal, and Hong Kong; Oct. 27 launches include Spain, Iceland, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden.
Tracking for international markets is tricky. Debuts in the same suite of markets at today’s exchange rates saw Thor: The Dark World open with about $80 million.
Major markets opening next week include Germany on Oct. 31; Russia and Mexico on Nov. 2; and China, India, and Japan with the U.S. on Nov. 3.