You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Post-‘Avengers’ Effect: How ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Leveraged Marvel Heritage

Sequel saw a 31% larger domestic opening than its 2011 predecessor

As if there was ever any doubt, this weekend’s colossal “Thor: The Dark World” box office performance lays to rest one thing: the Disney-Marvel machine works.

The $86 million domestic opening — more than $20 million more than its predecessor’s summertime bow — for “Thor: The Dark World” is a byproduct of the massive popularity of the Marvel brand and its characters; but namely, those featured in “The Avengers,” which stands as the industry’s third-highest grossing film of all time at $1.5 billion worldwide.

Globally, “Thor: The Dark World” has cumed $327 million in just two weeks, compared with the first “Thor” (2011), which amassed an almost $450 million worldwide total.

SEE ALSO: Box Office: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Strikes Big With $180 Mil Worldwide

The “Avengers”-effect reaches beyond just the hammer-wielding god in “Thor” — it also has strengthened the mettle of the “Iron Man” franchise.

Iron Man 3,” at $1.215 billion globally, the fifth-largest cume ever (and this year’s No. 1 pic), marks a remarkable 95% increase over “Iron Man 2,” which grossed $624 million worldwide in 2010. That kind of sequel-to-three-quel improvement is unrivaled so far in the Marvel world: for instance, Sony’s “Spider-Man 3” (2007) grew 14% over its 2004 predecessor, while Fox’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006) saw a comparable 13% increase over “X-2: X-Men United,” which was released in 2003.

Aside from being “Avengers” siblings, “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World,” which had a 31% larger domestic opening than the original, benefit from huge growth in the international marketplace.

SEE ALSO: Film Review: ‘Thor: The Dark World’

This weekend, “The Dark World” collected $19.6 million in China in three days, surpassing the entire gross of the original “Thor” on the mainland. (A growing Chinese infrastructure also plays into the overperformance.)

“The Marvel guys are so fucking smart,” enthused one industry executive Sunday morning. “I don’t think anyone is as smart as them in the industry.”

The popularity of the Marvel brand has extended beyond fanboys to become an event for families, as well.

Although Tony Stark as Iron Man ultimately has more clout with audiences than Thor does, the success of the post-“Avengers” sequels regardless is very good news for another member of the team — Captain America.

The original stars n’ stripes Avenger pic — which was the last Marvel film to be distributed by Paramount — raked in more than $370 million worldwide, which was less than “Thor” (the penultimate Par-distributed Marvel pic) but more than the original “X-Men,” at 296 million globally.

Disney launches “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on April 4; the “Avengers” sequel, “Age of Ultron,” bows May 1, 2015.

Popular on Variety

More Data

  • Arturo Guillén

    Arturo Guillen: An International Vision for a Global Business

    MADRID  — In 1996, when still at high school, Spain’s Arturo Guillen, having flunked some exams, took a summer job at Entertainment Data Inc.(EDI), which had just set up in Spain, intent on delivering computer-collected box office results to distributors. Cinema theaters would start relaying results from 10 pm, Guillén recalls. Sometimes the computer froze, [...]

  • India, South Korea Lead Surge in

    India, South Korea Lead Surge in Asian Production, Rights Spending

    Spending on film, TV and online video content in Asia grew by 12% in 2018, a significant leap from 8% the previous year. The strongest growth came from India and South Korea, with Indonesia and Vietnam following. Data from the latest edition of Asia Video Content Dynamics, published by research and consultancy firm Media Partners [...]

  • Pride Parade and Festival in Salt

    New Study Shows Decline in LGBTQ Acceptance Among Young Americans

    A new study from GLAAD shows a significant decline in LGBTQ acceptance among young Americans aged 18-34. In a national survey among U.S. adults called the Accelerating Acceptance Index, the percentage of young Americans reporting being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven scenarios dropped from 53% to 45%, marking the second consecutive [...]

  • Majelan

    French Podcast App Majelan Launches With 13 Million Audio Episodes Across 50 Countries

    While the podcast space is heating up with a variety of players including Apple, Audible, Spotify and Luminary, a smaller-yet-promising French app called Majelan is rolling out across 50 countries with an international library of 280 000 audio series, or 13 millions episodes, in 15 languages. Majelan is also kicking off with 20 original or [...]

  • Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania,

    APOS: Online Video Headed for 15% Annual Growth, Disrupting Asia Markets

    A blistering 15% annual growth of online video will give the Asian video industry (TV, pay-TV, home entertainment and streaming) a growth rate nearly double that of North America for the next five years. According to a new report from Media Partners Asia, published on the eve of the APOS conference in Indonesia, Asia’s online [...]

  • FICCI-Frames: Digital Growing, But TV Still

    FICCI-Frames: TV Dominates India's Entertainment Sector (Study)

    India’s creative industries sector, comprising television, film, OTT and related industries had an overall market size of $23.9 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow 12% to reach $33.6 billion by 2021. That is according to the annual EY report released during the Frames conference in Mumbai, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    European Cinema Admissions Down 3.3% in 2018, but Hit 1.25 Billion for Fourth Year in a Row

    European cinema admissions hit 1.25 billion for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, despite dropping 3.3% from the record level set in 2017, according to figures released Wednesday by the International Union of Cinemas, or UNIC. Total box office revenue across Europe hit at least €8 billion ($9.1 billion), also for the fourth year running. The figures [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content