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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ to Continue Box Office Reign Over Newcomers With $63 Million

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is still booming at the box office with a projected $63 million at 4,038 North American sites in its second weekend, early estimates showed Friday.

Fox’s detective drama “Murder on the Orient Express” is leading the rest of the pack with about $25 million at 3,341 locations, while Paramount’s family comedy “Daddy’s Home 2” will wind up with about $21 million at 3,575 venues. Both new entries are performing within expectations.

Should the projection for “Thor: Ragnarok” hold, the tentpole would wind up with one of the top 15 second weekends of all time. The third Thor movie ended a monthlong box office slump last weekend when it opened strongly with $122.7 million, the fourth-best launch of 2017, so a decline of under 50% is well above the norm.

“Thor: Ragnarok,” starring Chris Hemsworth, has topped $154 million in its first seven days. It will become the ninth-highest domestic grosser of 2017 this weekend and wind up the weekend with around $215 million domestically and $600 million worldwide. Should the weekend total top the $61.5 million taken in by “The Jungle Book,” “Thor: Ragnarok” would have the 20th highest second weekend domestically of all time.

“Murder” is heading for a first-day gross of about $10 million, including $1.6 million for Thursday night previews. It has received fairly positive reviews (earning the film a 60% Rotten Tomatoes score).

Kenneth Branagh directed and stars as Hercule Poirot in the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery. The star-laden cast includes Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, “Hamilton’s” Leslie Odom Jr., and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” actress Daisy Ridley. “Murder on the Orient Express,” set in the 1930s in Central Europe, was adapted by Michael Green and carries a $55 million budget.

“Daddy’s Home 2” should take in about $8 million on Friday, including $1.5 million from previews. Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell are reprising their roles as fathers co-parenting the children of Wahlberg’s character. The story is set during the holiday season with the arrival of Mel Gibson and John Lithgow as their respective fathers. Reviews have been dismal, with a 15% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Audiences had a more positive take, as “Daddy’s Home 2″ received a 78% total positive rating among general audiences, according to PostTrak. It currently looks like the sequel will be on-par the first”Daddy’s Home” (81%), and stronger than “Grown Ups 2” (74%), “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” (75%), “Dumb and Dumber To” (67%), and “Paul Blart 2” (74%). Similarly, definite recommend scores among generals is currently comparable with first “Daddy’s Home” (56% vs 58%).

The original “Daddy’s Home” launched a week after the release of 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and delivered solid results with a $38 million opening weekend domestically on its way to $242.7 million worldwide.

The staying power of all three titles will be tested next weekend with Warner Bros.’ launch of the much anticipated “Justice League,” which carried initial forecasts of an opening of at least $110 million.

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