'Thor: The Dark World' smashes competition with $86.1 million debut



Thor: The Dark World debuted mightily atop the domestic box office this weekend, hammering up $86.1 million from 3,841 theaters, which gave Disney’s $170 million 3-D sequel a blazing $22,418 per theater average.

Thanks to the Norse superhero’s increased exposure in last year’s mega-smash The Avengers, The Dark World debuted 31 percent higher than 2011′s Thor, which earned $65.7 million over its first three days in theaters. The film didn’t enjoy as big of a boost as Iron Man 3, which opened with $174.1 million, a 34 percent improvement over Iron Man 2‘s debut — but it’s still the best debut of 2013.

Thor: The Dark World earned an “A-” CinemaScore grade from audiences, which Disney reports were 62 percent male and 61 percent over the age of 25. The film earned an unusually low $5.3 million of its gross from IMAX screens, though IMAX engagements were only announced on Monday, three days before the The Dark World‘s release. Grosses on the international front are much more impressive: The film pulled in another $94 million in its second weekend, bringing its international total to $240.9 million after 12 days. The original Thor earned $268 million overseas, a figure The Dark World will have passed by this time next week.

Disney successfully played up the dynamic between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Avengers breakout Tom Hiddleston) in marketing, and as a result, the movie gave the studio its best ever November opening ahead of The Incredibles, which grossed $70.5 million on opening weekend. It had the ninth-best November start overall behind three Twilight films, four Harry Potter films, and Skyfall, which grossed $88.4 million on this weekend last year. It’s too early to tell where The Dark World will finish domestically, though it should be able to reach $200 million if it plays like Thor, which ultimately earned $181 million.

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What movies did you see this weekend, ONTD?