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Box Office: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Reigns Supreme With $38.5 Mil, Despite Hearty ‘Holiday’

Disney-Marvel sequel surpasses original in worldwide ticket sales

Christmas came early for Universal and the filmmakers behind “The Best Man Holiday,” including writer-director Malcolm D. Lee, whose holiday-themed sequel scored an estimated $30.6 million at the domestic box office. But the merry “Holiday” still was no match for Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which earned a chart-topping projected $38.5 million in its second Stateside frame.

“The Dark World,” which so far has amassed a whopping $147 million domestically, reached $479.8 million globally, eclipsing already the original “Thor,” which came just shy of tallying $450 million worldwide in 2011.

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

Internationally, “The Dark World” added an estimated $52.5 million to its $332.8 million overseas cume this weekend, with Italy and Japan being the only major markets yet to release the film.

Elsewhere globally, Warner Bros.’ 3D space epic “Gravity” crossed $500 million this weekend — thanks, in part, to a stellar Stateside hold, down just 26% in its seventh frame for an estimated three-day take of $6.3 million. Pic’s cumed $240 million domestically, with more than $261 million overseas.

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ L.A. Premiere

Though despite strong holdover perfs and the overperformance of “Best Man Holiday,” domestic B.O. trailed this time last year by nearly 50% because of the “Twilight” finale bowing the same weekend. However, the box office will get its equal due this coming weekend when “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” storms into theaters on Friday. (The film already hit theaters in Brazil, where it more than doubled the original’s debut with $6.3 million.)

In limited Stateside release, Paramount released Alexander Payne’s black-and-white road-trip comedy “Nebraska” at four locations in New York and L.A., averaging a strong $35,000 per screen. The film, which cost $12 million to produce, expands to the top 10 U.S. markets on Friday.

“Best Man Holiday,” which reunites Lee with all of his original cast members from the 1999 original, scored a rare ‘A+’ CinemaScore across all demographics. The film’s primary core of African Americans accounted for 87% of the opening demo. Additionally, 96% of the audience said it had seen the first film and was the reason for seeing the sequel.

“The Best Man,” with its ensemble cast including Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Monica Calhoun and Melissa De Sousa, became a cult hit in the urban markets grossing $34 million theatrically.

“We thought that if we got even near $20 million that would be amazing,” said Universal domestic distribution prexy Nikki Rocco, adding that she is encouraged by the film’s strong word-of-mouth. “I’ve heard nothing else from people other than how great they think the movie is,” she enthused.

Meanwhile, the overperformance of the $17 million-budgeted sequel during opening weekend — more than three times the original’s debut — illustrates the popularity of the first and the positions the second film ideally to play through the holidays.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Thor: The Dark World (2): $38.5; 3,841; $10,011; $147.0; -55%
  2. The Best Man Holiday (1): $30.6; 2,024; $15,115; $30.6; —
  3. Last Vegas (3): $8.9; 3,237; $2,739; $46.7; -20%
  4. Free Birds (3): $8.3; 3,510; $2,365; $42.2; -25%
  5. Jackass … Bad Grandpa (4): $7.7; 3,190; $2,404; $90.2; -32%
  6. Gravity (7): $6.3; 2,560; $2,453; $240.6; -26%
  7. Ender’s Game (3): $6.2; 3,236; $1,916; $53.8; -40%
  8. 12 Years a Slave (5): $4.7; 1,411; $3,331; $24.9; -30%
  9. Captain Phillips (6): $4.5; 2,626; $1,714; $97.6; -21%
  10. About Time (3): $3.5; 1,280; $2,705; $11.6; -27%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Thor: The Dark World (3): $52.5; 69; n/a; $332.8; $479.8; -45%
  2. Gravity (7): $18.5; 62; 4,688; $274.3; $240.6; $514.9; -35%
  3. The Counselor (3): $10.8; 40; 3,632; $19.4; $36.0; +300%
  4. Escape Plan (6): $10.2; 60; n/a; $78.6; $102.2; -60%
  5. Captain Phillips (5): $8.4; 62; 2,905; $66.4; $164.0; +17%

*in millions of $

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