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.”
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.