‘Thor’ thunders into superhero movie summer

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‘Thor’ thunders into superhero movie summer


Thor, right, played by Chris Hemsworth, incurs his father’s wrath by rekindling an ancient conflict. He is stripped of his powers and is literally brought down to Earth, where he grapples with a newfound mortality and ultimately wins redemption. Provided by CJ E&M

BEVERLY HILLS - “Thor,” the first of several superheroes debuting on movie screens this summer, hits U.S. theaters on Friday with outsized hopes resting on the Norse deity’s expansive shoulders.

Hollywood is praying that the God of Thunder and Marvel Comics staple will electrify a dismal 2011 box office, and squeeze more life out of a superhero genre that - with some of the most iconic characters already established franchises - is beginning to look tired.

“Thor” might seem an unlikely candidate to resuscitate the North American box office. The founding member of the original Avengers vanquishes his foes with a magical war hammer and the ability to call down thunder and lightning.

The challenge for classically trained British film director Kenneth Branagh - more usually associated with Shakespeare - was to make sure his first venture into the world of the 3-D action genre stood above the fray.

“It flips the usual superhero story. It isn’t the ordinary man who’s bitten by a spider and acquires supernatural powers,” Branagh told Reuters in an interview.

“Here we have a superhero with those powers - a God indeed - who has to lose everything and engage with our audience,” he said.

From the looks of things, “Thor” commands an edge in avoiding me-too status. It boasts Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins, and fellow Oscar winner and fanboy favorite Natalie Portman.

In Branagh’s version of the comic classic, the son of Odin, played by beefy Australian newcomer Chris Hemsworth, incurs his father’s wrath by rekindling an ancient conflict, is stripped of his powers and brought literally down to earth. Aided by Portman’s scientist Jane Foster, he grapples with a newfound mortality and ultimately wins redemption.

But some may question whether Thor - unlike “Spider-Man” and “Iron Man” before it - has the mega-fanbase to recoup a reported $150 million budget.

“I’m immune to the idea of how to second-guess what an audience would spend its money on. I can only come from the position of what I think is right for the story, and sometimes in the past I’ve got that right, and sometimes I’ve been wrong,” Branagh said.

The film opened in Korea on April 28 and is still playing at theaters nationwide.


한글 관련 기사 [스타뉴스]

‘토르’ 어린이날 흥행1위…골든위크 서전 장식

할리우드 블록버스터 `토르:천둥의 신`이 골든위크 서전을 1위로 장식했다.

6일 영진위 영화관입장권통합전산망에 따르면 `토르`는 5일 16만 52명을 동원, 누적관객 93만 4048명으로 1위에 올랐다. 지난달 28일 개봉한 `토르`는 올 여름 할리우드 블록버스터 첨병으로 개봉 첫 주 1위를 장식한 바 있다.

이로써 `토르`는 5일부터 시작해 10일까지 최고 6일까지 쉴 수 있는 이번 황금연휴에 유리한 출발고지에 올랐다.

이번 황금연휴에는 `써니` `체포왕` 등 한국영화들과 `토르`를 위시로 한 할리우드영화, `짱구는 못말려 극장판` 등 애니메이션 등이 경합 중이다.

2위는 `짱구는 못말려 극장판: 초시공! 태풍을 부르는 나의 신부`가 차지했다. `짱구는 못말려`는 개봉 당일인 5일 11만 7981명을 동원했다. `짱구는 못말려`는 일찌감치 예매율 1위를 달려 어린이날 특수를 예감시켰다.

할리우드 영화 `소스코드`는 9만 9819명으로 3위를 기록했다.

한국영화 `써니`는 이날 9만 7298명으로 4위에, `체포왕`은 7만 6820명으로 5위에 올랐다.

어린이날 극장가는 `썬더일레븐 극장판 : 최강군단 오우거의 습격`이 4만 5188명으로 7위에 오를 만큼 가족 관객들이 많았다.

하지만 6일부터 이어질 황금연휴에 어떤 영화가 웃을지는 아직 정해지지 않았다. 어린이날 특수가 사라지면 `토르` `소스코드`를 비롯한 할리우드 영화와 `써니` `체포왕` 등 한국영화들의 대결로 압축될 것으로 보인다.

`토르`의 우위가 계속될지, 한국영화 반격이 시작될지, 한국영화들의 2등 전략이 이어질지 지켜볼 일이다.

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