After conquering the international box office, Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” is now hammering U.S. theaters for an estimated $83 million debut.
According to early ticket sales, the Chris Hemsworth-Natalie Portman tentpole is poised for $31 million Friday, adding to “Thor’s” $158.2 million international tally and outpacing Disney’s 2011 original superhero actioner, which earned $65 million opening weekend.
On Thursday night, the “Thor” sequel earned a hefty $7.1 million in late screenings, doubling the original’s midnight take of $3.3 million.
Marvel’s superhero pic, co-starring Tom Hiddleston, was made for $170 million and marks the second standalone “Avengers” feature this year. “Iron Man 3″ drew $1.2 billion worldwide and $400 million Stateside this past summer, making it the highest-grossing movie of 2013.
Also opening this weekend is Fox 2000’s bigscreen adaptation of “The Book Thief.” Starring Geoffrey Rush, the WWII drama is playing in limited release in New York and L.A.
Holdovers “Ender’s Game” and “Bad Grandpa” will compete for second place.