Box Office Results: Thor: The Dark World Dominates with $327 Million Worldwide

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Things picked up at the domestic box office as Marvel Studios released their eighth film Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Christopher Eccleston, into 3841 theaters where it easily took first place with an estimated $86.1 million after bringing in $31.6 million in its opening day Friday (including Thursday night previews). This opening is 31% greater than the original Thor made in its May 2011 opening weekend and though a holiday release tends to offer greater legs, especially with Thanksgiving a few weeks away, it will have to contend with the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire before then.

It was a last minute decision to open the Thor sequel in IMAX theaters domestically, but that still proved to be a strong choice for moviegoers as it brought in over $5.3 million on 310 screens (many of them splitting screen time with last week’s Ender’s Game).

Internationally, “The Dark World” continued to exceed expectations as it added another $94 million in its second weekend overseas, down just 14% from last weekend as it expanded into more territories, adding up to a global weekend take of $180.1 million. Russia scored the highest among international territories with $24.1 million, followed by the UK with $22.6 million, but the big story was the $19.6 million the movie grossed in China in its opening weekend there, which was more than the opening of The Avengers and more than the original movie made in total. (Thanks to ERC Box Office for pointing out that fun factoid.)

270 IMAX screens accounted for over $5.6 million of the international weekend take with IMAX screens in China bringing in $3 million in IMAX revenues. This brings the movie’s global total to $327 million after just ten days, making it another feather in the cap of Marvel Studios, who have yet to falter since branching off on their own.

There was a tight photo finish race for second place with Johnny Knoxville’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Paramount) claiming an early lead with an estimated $11.3 million, but both the animated Free Birds (Relativity Media) and CBS Films’ Last Vegas, starring Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline, were nipping at its heels with roughly $11.1 million each.

“Bad Grandpa” had another great hold, down just 43.5% as it brought its total gross to $78.8 million, while Free Birds was down just 29% from its opening weekend as it brought its domestic total to $30.2 million. Although Last Vegas has fallen behind Free Birds this weekend with a slightly bigger drop from opening weekend (based on estimates), it has grossed slightly more to date with $33.5 million so far. There’s a good chance there will be a repositioning of these three movies once actuals are announced on Monday afternoon.

On the other hand, last week’s #1 movie, Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (Summit), starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld, dropped all the way down to fifth place, down 62% with just $10.2 million in its second weekend with a total gross of $44 million. Considering its reported $110 million production budget, I wouldn’t be holding your breath for a sequel unless it does huge business overseas.

Meanwhile, Alfonso CuarĂ³n’s thriller Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, continued to do well with another $8.4 million for sixth place with a total gross of $231.1 million. That makes it the seventh-highest grossing movie of the year in North America.

Steve McQueen’s acclaimed drama 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight), starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, expanded nationwide into 1,144 theaters (adding more than 734 theaters). but it only got a 37% increase in business from last weekend, taking seventh place with $6.6 million with a total gross of $17.3 million. Right now, if the Oscar Best Picture battle is between McQueen’s film and Gravity, as some have predicted, the former has a distinct disadvantage in terms of box office and awareness.

Another Oscar contender, Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks’ Somali pirate thriller Captain Phillips (Sony), brought in $5.8 million in 2,646 theaters to take eighth place as its total domestic gross reached $91 million.

Richard (Love Actually) Curtis’ latest romantic drama About Time, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, also expanded nationwide into 1,200 theaters on Friday, but it had to settle for ninth place with $5.1 million and $6.7 million total including the grosses from its one-week limited run. Internationally, the movie is faring significantly better with $38.2 million grossed so far.

Rounding out the Top 10, Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 added another $2.8 million to its North American gross of $110 million.

It’s also interesting to note that J.C. Chandor’s festival favorite All is Lost (Roadside Attractions), starring potential Oscar nominee Robert Redford, entered the Top 12 this weekend with $1.2 million as it expanded into over 400 theaters.

The Top 10 grossed roughly $158.4 million, which was right on par with the same weekend last year when the 23rd James Bond movie Skyfall opened in first place with $88.4 million, a new opening weekend record for the franchise.

20th Century Fox gave a limited platform release to their WWII drama The Book Thief, based on the bestselling novel by Markus Zusak. It brought in $108 thousand in its four New York and L.A. theaters or roughly $27 thousand per venue.

Alex Gibney’s latest documentary The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics)–that Armstrong being cyclist Lance–opened in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles where it brought in $31 thousand or $6,200 per site.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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