Keeping Box Office Perspective on 'Thor: The Dark World'

on November 06, 2013

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By Shawn Robbins

Disney is estimating an opening in the $80 million range for Thor: The Dark World, according to an unnamed source within the studio.

Fans: before feeling disappointed by that kind of number, keep in mind that it would represent a 22 percent increase in ticket sales from Thor's original $65.7 million debut in 2011. Iron Man 3's opening admissions earlier this year jumped by roughly 21 percent over Iron Man 2's.

That said, there is definitely big buzz for the Asgardian's solo sequel--so much that it's begun outpacing Iron Man 3 in both Flixster and Twitter activity.

The BoxOffice team has been forecasting an even stronger domestic launch, and that remains the case. Nevertheless, expectations across fandom--and maybe even certain corners of the industry--have escalated into a groupthink mentality that believes anything under $90-100 million will be a disappointment. This isn't the first movie to inspire such exaggeration, nor will it be the last, but it's wrong either way.

Why have standards grown to such extraordinary heights? Obviously, the massive global success of The Avengers and Iron Man 3 spawned a notion that Marvel and Disney have cracked a secret code for mega openings. They currently own the two best domestic debuts in history, so maybe there's something to that. Still, the key for perspective is in remembering the star power of those two movies.

No offense to Chris Hemsworth, a respected leading man whose career is on the rise, but Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark/Iron Man is arguably the most irreplaceable on-screen superhero now that Christian Bale has retired from the Batman franchise. "The Avengers Bump" will apply to The Dark World, but the film is in new territory as the first post-Avengers movie without... well, the star of the Avengers.

While we're all theorizing that Thor, having had a smaller audience base to begin with, could naturally have more room for expansion, keep in mind that $100 million is an immaterial benchmark. This sequel may end up close to that number, but if it doesn't, let's not sully the feat Marvel and Disney will have still accomplished in taking what was a second-tier comic book property three years ago and sending it to one of the best ever November debuts outside the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises.

Check BoxOffice later Wednesday evening for our final forecast on Thor: The Dark World.

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The Thor: The Dark World trailer:

Tags: Marvel's The Avengers, Marvel, Disney, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

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