‘Thor’ sequel leads box office in Korea, U.S.
Disney’s “Thor” sequel earned $86.1 million in North America over the weekend, opening there at No. 1, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, the Marvel superhero sequel earned $109.4 million when it opened internationally last weekend and $94 million this weekend.
“It’s an extraordinary thing,” said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution at Walt Disney Studios. “These guys at Marvel have been some of the most consistent when it comes to making movies and creating big events that drive a ton of people to the movie theater. They overdelivered on expectations.”
However, some observers were expecting the weekend total to reach over $100 million.
In limited theaters Thursday evening, “Thor: The Dark World” brought in $7.1 million overnight.
Surpassing the ticket sales of “Thor,” which scored $65.7 million when it opened in May of 2011, “Thor: The Dark World” marks a record for a Disney November opening, topping the $70.5 million “The Incredibles” earned in 2004.
In Korea, the movie earned 5 billion won ($4.7 million) over the weekend, pushing the new release of “Commitment,” starring T.O.P of the popular boy group Big Bang, into second place.
“Thor” has earned 15 billion won since Oct. 30.
“Commitment” has a 3 billion won weekend, earning 4.8 billion won since it opened on Nov. 6.
The No. 3 film in Korea was “Gravity,” with 2.4 billion won, followed by the Korean thriller “Accomplices” in fourth with 1.2 billion won.
Another U.S. film, “The Purge,” starring Ethan Hawke, made its debut in Korea in fifth, with 769 million won.
But, come Nov. 22, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is predicted to take the No. 1 spot in the United States.
“We have a great little stretch of time prior to ‘Hunger Games,’” said Disney’s Hollis. “Yes, ‘Hunger Games’ will do a whole bunch of business, but that’s not to say we don’t expect to still be a relevant option for consumers that weekend and onto the Thanksgiving weekend that follows.”
Paramount’s hidden-camera comedy “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” held the second-place slot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, earning $11.3 million during its third weekend, with a domestic total reaching more than $78 million.
“Audiences can’t get enough of these films,” said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak. “They are like that guilty pleasure. It’s completely unique compared to everything else out there.”
Relativity Media’s 3-D animated kiddie flick “Free Birds,” soared into third place with $11.2 million in its second weekend.
CBS Films’ “Last Vegas,” featuring an all-star cast including Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline, took fourth place.
Last weekend’s box office champ, the sci-fi adaptation “Ender’s Game,” starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield and Viola Davis, dropped to fifth place.
BY LEE SUN-MIN, AP [firstname.lastname@example.org]