Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is looking to turbocharge a sleepy box office when it debuts in North America this weekend.
Anticipation is high for the Marvel superhero sequel, with Fandango reporting that the film is currently out-selling “Spider-Man: Homecoming” at a similar point in its sales cycle. The online ticketing giant says that the latest Thor film, the third in the Norse god franchise, is also far ahead of the previous two movies in the series.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” debuted to $117 million when it opened last July. “Thor: Ragnarok” is on track to open in the $100 million to $118 million range. The pic has already launched in certain foreign markets, and made $109 million in its international debut last week.
The film brings back Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding Avenger and partners him with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. Cate Blanchett plays the primary antagonist Hela, the goddess of death. Taika Waititi, an indie director best known for “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” slid behind the camera for this installment, and has been credited by critics with injecting a more light-hearted tone into the series.
Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 moviegoers and found that 97% of those polled were excited to see the interactions between Thor and the Hulk, 89% were looking forward to the funnier storyline, and 88% were primed to see Blanchett.
If “Thor: Ragnarok” delivers, it’s good news for the box office. Ticket sales are down 5% year-to-date and this October was the worst since 2007 in terms of revenues.