November 9, 2013



It was foretold by the gods of Marvel that THOR: THE DARK WORLD (Disney) would rule this weekend, and preliminary numbers at Deadline confirm that it will, with a $31M Friday (including $7.1M from Thursday night).  That should get it to a weekend around $80M.  It’s certainly a huge number, likely to be the 6th biggest opening of 2013 and larger than the opening of the original Thor, which had a $25.5M Friday into a $65.7M opening weekend, but it’s not the leap over Thor that this year’s Iron Man 3 was over Iron Man 2 ($174.1M vs $128.1M), suggesting that the Avengers halo effect isn’t quite as strong as it had been.  As often happens with sequels, Dark World is doing much stronger business overseas than its predecessor, so no one needs to worry about Marvel/Disney’s overall revenues.

No new movie dared to challenge mighty Thor this weekend, but there were two major expansions.  12 YEARS A SLAVE (Fox Searchlight) hit the first bump in its box office road, as it nearly tripled its theatre count to 1144, but only increased around 43% Friday-to-Friday to $1.8M, a rise likely to moderate over the course of the weekend to around 35%.  That would give it a $6.5M weekend and a merely good $5500 per-theatre average.

ABOUT TIME (Universal) went to 1200 theatres with $1.4M on Friday and a probable $4.5-5M weekend, not generating much interest with a $4K per-theatre average.

ENDER’S GAME (Summit/Lionsgate) collapsed in the face of direct competition from Thor, down almost 70% from last Friday to $3.1M, with a $10M weekend in store.  There’s little likelihood of the franchise continuing unless it cleans up overseas.

The strongest holdover from last weekend was LAST VEGAS (CBS), down just around 30% from last Friday to $3.3M and heading for a $11-12M weekend and a final total that should exceed $50M, as the movie’s desired AARP members are showing up in droves.  FREE BIRDS (Relativity) also held well, down about 40% from last Friday to $2.5M, and a probable $10-11M weekend.  GRAVITY (Warners) and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (Sony) both continued their strong runs, down 30-35% from last Friday.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."