‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Outwits Sequel Curse With $121M Debut

Over the weekend, the threequel opened to $121 million from 4,080 theaters in North America, 41 percent ahead of 2013’s Thor: The Dark World ($85.7 million), not accounting for inflation. Overseas, the event pic grossed $151.4 million in its second weekend for a foreign tally of $306 million and a worldwide haul of $427 million. Thor: Ragnarok‘s $55.6 million China debut is a record for the month of November, while Imax theaters delivered a whopping $25.4 million globally.

Thor: Ragnarok — with Chris Hemsworth returning in the titular role and Cate Blanchett introduced as Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death — helped restored luster to the domestic box office after a miserable October, posting the fourth-best opening of the year to date and besting every other 2017 superhero tentpole outside of fellow Marvel title Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which earned $146.5 million. (Spider-Man: Homecoming debuted to $117 million, while Wonder Woman launched to $103.3 million.)

The secret to the movie’s success? Thor: Ragnarok was no doubt boosted by Waititi’s fresh vision and by featuring other characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, namely The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who makes a cameo. It was the same strategy Marvel used in 2016 threequel Captain America: Civil War. And then there were Thor: Ragnarok‘s glowing reviews and an A CinemaScore.