Sun. Sep 25th, 2022


Thor: Love and Thunder, box office predictions, marvel, box office, marvel studios, mcu, chris hemsworth

We’re coming off of the long Fourth of July weekend which saw some inflated box office grosses, and while some of the holdovers will see significant declines coming off of the holiday, Thor: Love and Thunder is entering the ring and is ready for a godly debut at the top of the box office.

The MCU is a proven formula at the box office and that was even when moviegoers were more unsure about heading to the movies in the wake of the pandemic. The question for Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t whether the fourth entry will dominate this weekend but it’s HOW MUCH will it dominate? The film is coming off the critically and financially successful Thor: Ragnarok, which wisely let Taika Waititi take the helm and change things up for the better for the God of Thunder. He infused the character with more humor and allowed its star, Chris Hemsworth, to utilize his comedic abilities. It was a wise move as Thor: Ragnarok registered a solid 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $315 million at the domestic box office. Waititi is back for Love and Thunder and it looks like the film leans even more into the humor that made Ragnarok so much fun.

Another added bonus for Thor: Love and Thunder is the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. She hasn’t appeared in the MCU since Thor: The Dark World in 2013 and not only is she back, but she’s back brandishing her own hammer. Portman takes on the mantle of The Mighty Thor and, based on reviews, she’s one of the best things about the film. Fans are excited to see this new iteration of the character and it should broaden the film’s appeal across demographics. Throw in an appearance by the Guardians of the Galaxy and Christian Bale, also getting solid notices as the villain, Gorr the Butcher, and you have a little something for everyone.

Thor: Ragnarok opened to $122.7 million back in 2017 and that’s a total Love and Thunder will easily clear. The little curveball here happens to be the reviews. As of this writing, Thor: Love and Thunder is 70% fresh with 178 reviews counted and that’s down considerably from the 93% of Ragnarok. Some might look at the score and be concerned but I think we might have a situation where some of the MCU is just review proof. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came in at 74% fresh and it still opened to $187.4 million back in May. Actually, other tentpole releases like Jurassic Park: Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru, didn’t have spectacular scores on Rotten Tomatoes and they still opened massively. This is the summer that moviegoers wanted to get back to the movies and, for better or worse, they’re taking anything they can get. Speaking of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I was asked by a friend if Thor: Love and Thunder could top that opening and I honestly don’t think that will be the case. Doctor Strange was coming off of the insane success of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It had slightly more heat behind it. Per Deadline, presales were trailing behind the Doctor Strange sequel by 40% last Friday and that film had already cashed in $49 million in advance ticket sales a week before opening. The good news for Thor: Love and Thunder is that presales are ahead of Top Gun: Maverick, The Batman, and Jurassic World: Dominion so that bodes well for an opening well over $100 million. The Marvel release is also the last truly big release of the summer so that could give it a bit of a bump this weekend and maybe in the weeks ahead. We do have Jordan Peele’s Nope and Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train still on the calendar but this represents the last huge tentpole release of the summer season. With all of these factors considered, I’m calling for a $160 million opening for Thor: Love and Thunder.

Minions: The Rise of Gru will fall to second after an impressive $125.2 million Fourth of July four-day opening last weekend. The Minions sequel will see a bit of a steep decline because that’s the nature of coming off of a holiday weekend but I don’t think it will be as steep as some think. The film grossed $17.5 million on Tuesday coming off of the Fourth of July which shows families and kids are truly driving the film. Throw in some #GentleMinions TikTok trends and it’s working all kinds of marketing angles to guarantee its continued success. I’m predicting $49 million for the film’s second weekend.

Top Gun: Maverick will dip one spot to third but it will likely have the best post-Fourth of July hold of the holdovers from last weekend. The Top Gun sequel hasn’t been performing like a traditional tentpole release. All of its declines have been slim as repeat business is clearing fueling its box office performance. I’m expecting Top Gun: Maverick to gross about $18 million for the weekend.

Elvis has continued to entice the older demographic since its opening and that’s an impressive feat because it took them the longest to embrace a return to theaters. It’s the lone film in the box office top ten that caters directly to them and it really is monopolizing that audience. I’m predicting a fourth-place finish for Elvis this weekend with a gross of $12 million.

Rounding out the top five will be Jurassic World: Dominion which continues to perform well despite its lukewarm critical reception. I would love to see The Black Phone pull out ahead of it and place fifth but I think the horror effort will come up a bit short because horror films just see heftier declines as the weeks go on. I’m predicting an $8.5 million fifth-place finish for Jurassic World: Dominion.

What are YOUR box office predictions for the weekend?

TOP FIVE BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS:

  1. Thor: Love and Thunder$160 million
  2. Minions: The Rise of Gru $49 million
  3. Top Gun: Maverick$18 million
  4. Elvis$12 million
  5. Jurassic World: Dominion$8.5 million

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