With two new releases having hit the theaters over the weekend and both expected to have moderate success, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok was expected to repeat at the box office, and it did with ease. The Thor sequel had dropped a respectable 53.9% in its second frame in cinemas, pulling in a solid $56 million over the weekend, which was more than enough to take down the other newcomers, Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 and 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express. While they fared well in the opening frames, they could not come close to the Asgardian.
Thor: Ragnarok remained in 4,080 theaters and pulled in $13,873 per-screen average for its second weekend. This has brought Thor: Ragnarok past the $200 million domestic thresholds, with $211.5 million domestic and $650 million worldwide through the box office run, from a $180 million budget. In10 days, Thor: Ragnarok has surpassed the first two Thor movies, and it stands as one of MCU’s best-reviewed movies ever at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, coming in under the 94% for the first MCU movie ever, 2008’s Iron Man.
Debuting in second and third places are Daddy’s Home 2 with $30 million and Murder on the Orient Express with $28.2 million. Given how close the movies are in the estimates, it is possible that the movies may switch places tomorrow when the figures are released, but we will have to wait for that. For Daddy’s Home 2 brings Mel Gibson and John Lithgow into the franchise. At their opening weekend, the tally fell below the $38.7 million debut of the original 2015 movie, which became a surprise hit of that year by taking in $150.3 million domestic and $242.7 million worldwide.
None of the newcomers were blessed with critical approval, with the Murder on the Orient Express adaptation earning 56% on Rotten Tomatoes and Daddy’s Home 2 only received 13% on RT. Daddy’s Home 2 had opened in 3,575 theaters over the weekend for $8,392 per-screen average, from a $69 million budget. Murder on the Orient Express opened in 3,341 theaters for $8,441 per-screen average, from a $55 million budget.
The top 10 had been rounded out with the surprise in the 10-spot this weekend. A Bad Moms Christmas dropped 31.3% in third place with $11.5 million and is followed by Jigsaw ($3.4 million), Boo 2! a Madea Halloween ($2 million), Geostorm $1.5 million), Blade Runner 2049 ($1.4 million), Happy Death Day ($1.3 million) and Lady Bird ($1.2 million). Lady Bird, which marks the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig, had opened in limited release, taking in $364,437 from four theaters for $91,109 per-screen average and broke the record for the highest per-screen average for a female director. It expanded to 37 theaters and managed to crack the top 10 with $33,766 per-screen average. It is unclear if there are plans to expand Lady Bird nationwide, but given the incredible first two weekends, that will not be surprising. Opening in limited release over the weekend is Fox Searchlight’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which has earned $320,000 from four theaters for $80,000 per-screen average, while Atlas Distribution’s No Greater Love earned $21,821 from 22 theaters for a $992 per-screen average, and The Orchard’s Thelma earned $12,357 from one theater.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Warner Bros. will roll out Justice League in theaters, which has some competition in wide release, with Lionsgate’s drama Wonder and Sony’s animated comedy, The Star. While neither movie seems to give Justice League a huge run for its money, most Marvel movies like Thor: Ragnarok open with no other competition in theaters, so it will be interesting to see if the counter-programming strategy pays off for Wonder and The Star, or if they will both tank against the superhero ensemble movie.