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Thunder Deity is King of Box Office

The God of Thunder made modest rumblings at the weekend box office. The official, rather typical, summer start was not quite as bright as last week. Thor, the first of many superhero movies this year headlined the weekend with $66 million. That is less than the movie it is most often compared to - Iron Man. Adding insult to injury is the majestic opening Fast Five received last week to the tune of more than $80 million. This proves that audiences favor familiarity over new beginnings. Fast Five came back with another $32 million putting its total domestic at $139.8 million.

Foreign totals are racking up for the little known comic book hero. The flick has fetched $176 million in other territories bring the total to a respectable $242 million. That clears the $150 million budget, one that studios might have done better to trim back to $90 million given the little known origin of the character. Fast Five is making a killing across the globe pulling in $184 million and bagging a whole $100 million more overall than Thor. That is quite a knockout for a "fivequel" to beat out a Norse god, but who’s keeping score?

Rounding out the top five are two wedding-themed comedies featuring female casts. The obvious counterprogramming was a mediocre success. Jumping the Broom is most impressive considering its $6.6 million budget and $13.7 million take. Something Borrowed, starring the well known Kate Hudson opened wider, got worse reviews, and scored $13.1 million falling just short to fourth place. Rio sits in the fifth spot with “Hoodwinked” clinging to the bottom rung.

The Top Ten

1.  Thor - $66M (weekend)…$66M (gross)
2.  Fast Five - $32.5M…$139.8M
3.  Jumping the Broom - $13.7M…$13.7M
4.  Something Borrowed - $13.1M…$13.1M

5.  Rio - $8.2M…$114.9M
6.  Water for Elephants - $5.6M…$41.6M
7.  Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family - $3.9M …$46.8M
8.  Prom - $2.4M…$7.8M
9.  Soul Surfer - $2.1M…$36.6M
10. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil - $1.8M …$6.7M

 In expectation of the success of Thor, Hollywood put two meager entries out this weekend- Bridesmaids and Priest. One is receiving high praise and the other is too shameful to test before critics. The latter is Priest, a 3-D religious themed vampire movie from the maker of Legion starring the leading man of…Legion. The curious film is based on a graphic novel by Min-Woo Hyung but according to Player Affinity sources, this flick does not stick close to the origin material. The studio is running scared, refusing to have press screening. Less than a dozen reviews are available at this time and each one is dripping with acidic comments. With a lamentable premise, an unknown director and a fledgling lead in Paul Bettany it is certain to flop. How it made it to early summer is anyone’s guess.

Slightly more promising is Bridesmaids, an R-rated comedy starring Kristen Wiig of SNL fame and a bevy of ladies including Rose Byrne (Insidious). This is not your typical chick flick given it is not a romantic comedy yet it does star an ensemble of women. This is a death sentence at the box office. What the little picture has going for it are full throttle marketing and strong reviews to back it up. The picture is being described as The Hangover with chicks. That’s inviting enough for a segment of guys to come see with their girlfriends (less begrudgingly than usual). This girl power ensemble replaces the void left by the Sex and the City gals whose sequel was dead on arrival. It stands to make the top five, but return business to Thor and even Fast Five will top these two newbies.


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