Thor: Ragnarok will definitely be another blockbuster success for Marvel Studios this fall, but it likely will not post the highest opening weekend of the franchise this year. The third solo Thor outing is also the studio's third offering of 2017, following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Critics have praised the film for its strong sense of humor, combining the strengths of a talented cast and director Taika Waititi into a unique package that revamps the Thor franchise, which traditionally has been seen as Marvel's weakest to date. Premiering internationally before its domestic debut, Ragnarok has already earned more than $100 million at the worldwide box office.
All signs are pointing to Ragnarok being the biggest Thor movie, but where will it place among Marvel's output when its run is complete? That's what we're going to try to determine in this special edition of the box office prediction. Since Thor 3 will easily top A Bad Moms Christmas this weekend, it's more interesting to pit the God of Thunder against the Guardians and Peter Parker.
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Ragnarok has a lot going for it, other than being the newest Marvel movie. It's entering theaters on the heels of the worst October at the multiplex in 10 years, so there's definitely a growing demand for a shiny new tentpole to draw in the masses. The MCU has never had any issues generating interest, and the prolonged commercial drought will only help matters in regards to selling Ragnarok to audiences. Thor isn't exactly the most popular Avenger, but the colorful marketing campaign leaned heavy on humor and action, teasing viewers with something that was a deviation from the standard Marvel formula. This installment also has more of an "event" feel than its predecessors, given the team-up element. Thor is joining forces with friend from work the Hulk, plus fan-favorite Loki. There's also much excitement surrounding Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, and she's earned high marks in the reviews.
However, in comparison to Marvel's other tentpoles this year, Thor draws the relative short straw in terms of appeal. The Guardians of the Galaxy emerged as overnight sensations with their original film back in 2014, earning more than any franchise installment that did not feature Tony Stark in some capacity. Marvel's first cosmic adventure earned $333.1 million, compared to The Dark World's $206.3 million (and that was with a post-Avengers boost). Vol. 2 debuted to the tune of $146.5 million in May, closing out its time in theaters with $389.8 million. Even if Ragnarok grosses the high-end of projections ($109 million), it won't really be in that Guardians ballpark. It has a better chance of topping Homecoming, but even there, Thor is at a disadvantage. Through all of Spidey's ups and downs cinematically, he remains something of a poster boy for the company and has cross-generational appeal. Homecoming, which featured Tony Stark in a supporting role, opened with $117 million in its first three days. That's a high benchmark for Ragnarok to clear, especially since Thor has never been a commercial juggernaut before.
Of course, as Wonder Woman and others have demonstrated, it is possible for a film to surpass expectations if the conditions are right. Given how barren the marketplace has been of late, this could be the recipe to push Thor into another stratosphere at the box office, but there's one other thing to keep in mind. We're only two weeks away from Justice League, which is already tracking very well with tickets now on sale. There's obviously room for both movies this month, but some viewers may opt to save their money for DC's team-up, as it represents the first time the League has come together on the big screen. Thor is certainly a blockbuster, but it could be perceived as "just another Marvel movie" as we wait for Infinity War. Because of these factors, we think Ragnarok will make $105 million in its first three days.
Source: Box Office
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019