The God of Thunder still has some pop.
“Thor: love and thunderthe latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossed an estimated $143 million domestically for its release this weekend, according to Disney.
That number is on par with industry expectations, which had the film grossing around $150 million in North America. Despite not being a record-breaking debut, or even Marvel’s biggest opening this year, which belongs to May’s”Doctor strange in the multiverse of madness“: marks another strong opening for Hollywood’s most trusted blockbuster franchise.
The film, in which Chris Hemsworth’s Thor teams up with Natalie Portman’s The Mighty Thor to battle an evil force that is killing gods, has grossed $302 million worldwide so far.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that “Love and Thunder” has garnered mixed reviews from both audiences and critics.
The movie has a 68 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned a “B+” CinemaScore from audiences. Now, a “B+” from ticket buyers usually isn’t the end of the world, but it’s concerning for Marvel, since these movies are specifically designed to please the crowd.
If the fan base that sees a Marvel movie on opening weekend isn’t madly interested in what they’re seeing, that doesn’t leave much hope for long-term box office growth.
In short, if you haven’t managed to energize the opening weekend audience, who would probably enjoy a Thor Marvel movie reading a phone book for two hours, there’s not a lot of places to go from there in terms of success. box office in the weeks to come.
For example, May’s “Multiverse of Madness” earned $187 million in its opening weekend and also earned a “B+” rating. Box office receipts fell 67 percent in its second weekend and the film was ultimately overshadowed by Paramount’s “”.Top Gun: Maverick,” which has earned an estimated $600 million domestically thanks in large part to overwhelmingly positive word of mouth.
Lukewarm reactions are also becoming a trend for the superhero brand recently, with three of its last four films earning sub-A CinemaScores.
So what’s going on with Marvel?
To begin with, the brand can be thinning out a bit due to a surplus of Disney+ Marvel shows.
“However, commercial success doesn’t always correlate directly with quality,” Brian Lowry, CNN media critic, wrote on Friday. “A downward trend for the Disney-owned unit raises legitimate questions about whether Marvel’s efforts to fuel the parent studio’s streaming service, Disney+, have contributed to diluting its output.”
Also, the movies that followed the record-breaking success of 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” have felt a bit aimless due to a lack of overarching storylines.
Does this mean Marvel is in trouble? Hardly.
Marvel remains the highest-grossing brand in Hollywood with more than $25 billion in worldwide box office receipts, according to Comscore. The studio has the highly anticipated sequel to “Black Panther” (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) slated for November and will finally deliver a one-two punch with the introduction of two of the most notable superhero groups in the world of comics: the Fantastic . Four and the X-Men.
Either way, theaters and Hollywood are more than happy to see a big weekend like this as the industry tries to get back to its pre-pandemic normalcy at the box office.