[Box Office] ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ hammers the competition again
“Thor: Ragnarok,” from Disney and Marvel, topped Korea’s weekend box office, having sold 466,000 tickets from Friday to Sunday. The Taika Waititi-directed superhero film has sold a total of 4.28 million admissions since its release on Oct. 25, and has grossed a total of 34.7 billion won ($31 million). The latest “Thor” film has become the best-performing movie in the “Thor” franchise in Korea. The first and the second films in the series sold 1.69 million and 3.04 million, respectively.
In North America, studios estimated that “Thor” added $56.6 million from North American theaters in its second weekend, bringing its total to $211.6 million.
In Korea, the film easily beat out the newly released horror picture “Happy Death Day” and a noir movie “A Special Lady.”
Blumhouse’s “Happy Death Day,” centering on a college girl (Jessica Rothe) who repeatedly relives her birthday after being murdered by an unknown killer with a mask, came in second with 412,000 admissions sold.
The widely-anticipated “A Special Lady,” starring Kim Hye-soo, landed in a disappointing fifth spot with 140,000 tickets sold. The film centers on the charismatic female crime lord who transformed a criminal organization into a prominent financial company, and her helper (Lee Sun-gyun) who also secretly admires her.
Local comedy “The Bros” and crime movie “The Outlaws,” both of which star Ma Dong-seok, landed in third and fourth.
In North America, the comedy sequel “Daddy’s Home 2” and the lavish Agatha Christie adaptation “Murder on the Orient Express” also posted solid openings.
Paramount scored again with “Daddy’s Home 2,” which adds John Lithgow and Mel Gibson to the Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg formula. The film, which cost a reported $69 million to produce, took second place at the box office with $30 million. The first film from 2015 grossed $242.8 million worldwide on a similar budget.
Critics were not won over by the comedy, but audiences seemed pleased, giving the film an A- on CinemaScore.
The star-studded “Murder on the Orient Express,” meanwhile, screeched into third place with an estimated $28.2 million against a $55 million budget. Kenneth Branagh directs himself in the film, which also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley and Judi Dench.
“It gives me an incredible injection of optimism for the future of our business. This is sumptuous, throwback Hollywood filmmaking, and audiences responded to it,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for Twentieth Century Fox.
The studio expects the film to play well through the Thanksgiving holiday, appealing to audiences who are not rushing out to see the latest comic book adventure. Next week, DC and Warner Bros.’ superhero ensemble pic “Justice League” opens.
“I don’t think our audiences will overlap a lot,” Aronson added.
“A Bad Moms Christmas” took fourth with $11.5 million in its second weekend, and “Jigsaw” rounded out the top five with $3.4 million.
In smaller releases, Greta Gerwig’s buzzy coming-of-age film “Lady Bird,” from distributor A24, also broke into the top 10 in its expansion to 37 theaters, earning $1.2 million. Another awards contender, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” starring Frances McDormand, opened to a strong limited release with $320,000 from just four theaters.
BY JIN MIN-JI, AP [email@example.com]