Thursday, May 5, 2011

Box office preview: Mighty 'Thor' ready to rule the weekend

Although this year's box office still trails 2010 by 16 percent, Fast Five's monster $86.2 million debut last weekend was definitely a step in the right direction. Thor will attempt to continue the momentum, and while the Marvel superhero flick will likely fall short of Fast Five's opening, it should still post a large enough number to officially launch the summer movie season. The frame's two other new releases, the wedding comedies Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom, will fight over the female moviegoers not tempted by Thor's mighty hammer. Both films may receive a little boost on Sunday, which happens to be Mother's Day — you haven't forgotten, right? Here are my predictions for the top five:

1. Thor: $69 million

There's no denying that the god of thunder is one of Marvel's less recognizable superheroes, but that didn't stop the original Iron Man from grossing $98.6 million its first weekend in 2008. However, unlike Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth is hardly a household name. Furthermore, when Iron Man debuted, its most prominent competition was the minor romantic comedy Made of Honor. But Thor has to contend with another huge PG-13 action film in Fast Five, which has already tallied $103.2 million in just six days. Luckily, Thor's reviews have been encouraging for the most part, and the $150 million movie will benefit from the price hikes at 2,737 3-D theaters and 214 IMAX locations.


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