‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ Summons a Mighty $135 Million-Plus Box Office Opening

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Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love & Thunder” has given the box office its third $100 million-plus opening in the past month, taking in $69.5 million on opening day as it is now estimated to earn a very strong $135-145 million launch from 4,375 theaters.

While that’s slightly below the $150-170 million opening set by independent trackers prior to release, it is consistent with Disney’s pre-release projections and has topped the $122 million opening of 2017 predecessor “Thor: Ragnarok.” Its closest MCU comp is the $146.5 million opening earned by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and is also close to matching the $145 million opening that “Jurassic World: Dominion” earned for Universal last month.

What may be more concerning for “Thor: Love & Thunder” is the audience metrics. For the second straight time and just the fourth time in its history, a Marvel movie has earned a B+ on CinemaScore. The only other Marvel films to not earn an A or A- from the audience poll are the first “Thor” in 2011, last year’s “Eternals,” and this year’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

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‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ Summons a Mighty $135 Million-Plus Box Office Opening

In its second weekend in May, “Multiverse of Madness” fell a sharp 67%, notable during a summer where films from “Top Gun: Maverick” to “Elvis” have been able to leg out for weeks. While “Multiverse of Madness” was still a big hit, the less-than-stellar audience reception kept it short of $1 billion worldwide, and “Thor: Love & Thunder” may get the same result with a B+ on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 67% critics and 83% audience.

Universal/Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is performing consistently with the first “Minions,” earning $14.4 million on its second Friday with an estimated second weekend total of $47 million. That’s just below the $49 million that the first “Minions” earned in its second weekend seven years ago, and gives this sequel a 10-day total of $211.7 million.

In third is Paramount/Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which continues to fly high with an estimated $14.6 million total in its seventh weekend. Early this coming week, the $1 billion-plus hit will pass $600 million in domestic grosses; and with plans to stay in theaters through September, “Maverick” will have a very good chance to become just the sixth film ever to gross over $700 million in North America.