Chalk up another big win for Marvel Studios, which kept its streak alive with the 17th straight film in its live-action cinematic universe to debut in the top spot at the weekend box office.
Thor: Ragnarok lived up to the early buzz it received with an impressive $121 million opening weekend in U.S. theaters, as well as some big numbers overseas, too. The third entry in the Thor solo series had the seventh-biggest premiere for any Marvel movie so far, topping the $117 million debut of Spider-Man: Homecoming earlier this year and coming in just under the $128.1 million opening weekend for Iron Man 2 in 2010.
As if that wasn’t enough cause for celebration, the film’s estimated $55.6 million premiere in China is the biggest ever for a November release in that country (the second largest market in the world).
Reviews of Ragnarok seemed to support the film’s hefty ticket sales, too. Director Taika Waititi’s first foray into mainstream blockbusters received an exceptionally positive “A” grade from audiences (as reported by CinemaScore) and while it didn’t finish the weekend as Marvel’s best-reviewed movie of all time, its 93-percent positive rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes currently puts it in second place overall, just after the movie that launched the studio’s interconnected movie-verse, 2008’s Iron Man (which received 94-percent positive reviews).
At this point, Ragnarok clearly has a bright future ahead of it with great reviews from critics and audiences alike, and a fantastic start to its theatrical run.
Coming in second at the weekend box office was the raunchy comedy sequel A Bad Moms Christmas, which had a perfectly respectable $17 million premiere — respectable for a movie that cost just $28 million to make, that is. People who bought tickets to the film seemed to enjoy it, too, as the movie ended up with a “B” grade from audiences despite a fairly negative assessment from professional critics.
It will be interesting to see whether Bad Moms Christmas can use its Christmas theme to extend its run deep into the holiday season, which officially kicked off this weekend.
The rest of the weekend’s top ten films were all returning movies, with no noteworthy performances to speak of — unless you consider the continuing epic failure of disaster film Geostorm an exciting story. The film, which reportedly cost $120 million to make, has now made just $28.7 million domestically after three weekends. At this point, its $182.3 million in worldwide ticket sales is the only thing saving it from being one of Hollywood’s biggest flops.
This biggest film hitting theaters this week is Murder on the Orient Express, which features an all-star cast — including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Dame Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, and Willem Dafoe — and offers yet another adaptation of Agatha Christie’s iconic mystery novel. Also hitting theaters is the holiday comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2 with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, as well as the critically acclaimed drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, starring Francis McDormand.