The latest entry in Disney’s Thor series emerged triumphant at the weekend box office with $143 million debut.
But despite the impressive domestic haul, the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry came up slightly short of expectations, which were for a $150 million opening, according to Variety.
Chris Hemsworth’s fourth solo Thor film also suffered from mixed-yet-positive reviews from critics and a B+ CinemaScore.
Close: Disney’s Thor: Love And Thunder earned $143 million at the weekend box office, according to Variety, though it failed to meet the $150 million expectations; Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman seen in the film
Thor: Love And Thunder was spread out across 4,375 theaters in North America.
Though it earned $20 million more in its opening week than the last film in the series, Thor: Ragnarok, Love And Thunder made slightly less than its predecessor when factoring in inflation.
Still, the Marvel film can boast the third-largest opening weekend of 2022, coming behind Jurassic World Dominion and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.
Unlike that earlier Marvel film or last year’s popular Spider-Man: No Way Home, Love And Thunder doesn’t feature multiple colliding universes.
Not quite: Love And Thunder (pictured) earned $20 million more than the last film in the series, Ragnarok, but that earlier film earned more when adjusted for inflation
Although Chris Pratt and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy are briefly featured at the start of the movie, it’s primarily left up to star Chris Hemsworth and his costars, including Tessa Thompson and director/actor Taika Waititi.
Natalie Portman returns to the franchise after sitting out Ragnarok, playing Thor’s former girlfriend Jane Foster, who has assumed some of his powers and taking over his magical hammer.
Christian Bale is also featured as the villain Gorr the God Butcher, who hopes to destroy all gods, while Russell Crowe made a humorous appearance as Zeus.
It’s unclear if Thor: Love And Thunder will have the staying power of other summer hits — particularly Top Gun: Maverick — as the film only received a 68 percent fresh rating from critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes.
When only the top critics from the most prestigious publications are included — which leaves out many sites that cater almost exclusively to comic book movie fans — the score drops to a much more muted 51 percent.
There’s also the issue of its B+ CinemaScore, as most MCU movies garner a grade of A- or higher, including the original Thor (2011).
Still number one: It earned mixed reviews from critics and only a B+ CinemaScore, raising questions about how it will perform in weeks to come
Star-studded cast: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, and Pom Klementeiff attended London screening of Thor: Love And Thunder
Number two: Last weekend, Minions: Rise Of Gru held the number one seat, but have been pushed down to second
Deadline reported that RelishMix, an entertainment analytics company, expressed a bit of concern about how critics and audiences would take the film.
‘Energy levels and tone run wildly mixed, leaning positive, as Thor chatter has returned to pre-pandemic cynicism, playfulness, and criticism from the MCU,’ the corporation stated.
‘Some wonder if this is a comedy, while others explain that this project swings from superhero to Taika Waititi-land improv playfulness.’
Owen Gleiberman, chief film critic for Variety, also discussed the film and Taika’s direction, stating, ‘the wit to see that if you aren’t mocking a Marvel movie as you’re making one, you might be taking it more seriously than the audience does.’
Despite the mixed critical reviews, it has not deterred Thor from taking over the number one spot in the box office.
Coming in at second was the animated film Minions: Rise Of Gru, which fell 57 percent and earned another $45.55 million, for a domestic total of $210 million.
Going strong: Coming in at second was the animated film Minions: Rise Of Gru, which fell 57 percent and earned another $45.55 million, for a domestic total of $210 million
Still flying high: Top Gun: Maverick earned another $15.5 million, and its $597.4 million total is a stone’s throw from becoming one of only 12 films to ever earn $600 million at the domestic box office
History: Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic also stayed strong with $11 million, for a total of $91.1 million, showing audiences are stilling will to show up for films that aren’t about superheroes
The Tom Cruise–starring action film Top Gun: Maverick continued to show off remarkable staying power in third place.
It earned another $15.5 million, and its $597.4 million total is a stone’s throw from becoming one of only 12 films to ever earn $600 million at the domestic box office.
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic also stayed strong with $11 million, for a total of $91.1 million, showing audiences are stilling will to show up for films that aren’t about superheroes or familiar franchises.
Dinosaur drama: Jurassic World Dominion took home an addition $8.4 million for $350.3 million domestic
Jurassic World Dominion took home an addition $8.4 million for $350.3 million domestic.
The horror film The Black Phone had another respectable weekend in which it took home $7.66 million.
Disney’s Toy Story spin-off Lightyear earned nearly $3 million, for $112.3 million.
The Jenny Slate–starring Marcel The Shell With Shoes On was popular counter-programming that earned $340K over the weekend for a $963.4K total.
Marvel: In ninth place was the earlier Marvel film Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. It earned another $262K for a $411.06 million total
In ninth place was the earlier Marvel film Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. It earned another $262K for a $411.06 million total.
Rounding out the top 10 was A24’s impressive science fiction/action film Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The film received stellar reviews, particularly for star Michelle Yeoh, and audiences have continued to turn out for it.
The movie took home another $241K toward its $67.6 million total.
Rounding out the top 10 was A24’s impressive science fiction/action film Everything Everywhere All At Once. The movie took home another $241K toward its $67.6 million total