The best movie of the weekend at Vudu was Marvel and Walt Disney
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Thor: Love and Thunderwith Paramount
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and Skydance Top Gun: Maverick ranking second. The size of Top Gun 2The haul of ($705 million domestically and $1.453 billion to date) has put the MCU on the defensive despite objectively high revenue for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($955 million) and Thor: Love and Thunder ($750 million). However, Taika Waititi Thor 4 exceeded his Thor 3 domestically ($341 million) and globally excluding China and Russia (where love and thunder did not play). In at least national incomes, Thor is the first big-budget franchise to have four installments that each surpassed their predecessors. No box office bomb, Thor 4 turned the Chris Hemsworth/Natalie Portman/Tom Hiddleston/Tessa Thompson franchise into something remarkable and made it unique in both the MCU and the Hollywood franchise landscape.

by Kenneth Branagh Thor earned $181 million domestically and $449 million in the summer of 2011, when that worldwide total was enough to make it the biggest comic book superhero movie without Batman/Iron Man / Wolverine / Spider-Man of all time. by Alan Taylor Thor: The Dark World earned $206 million domestically and $644 million worldwide by the end of 2013, ranking second on this list behind only Steel manit’s $668 million. Waititi was hired to freshen up Thor: Ragnarok and delivered a buzzy, well-received action-comedy that remains one of the best MCU titles. Cue $315 million domestic and $854 million global. And now Thor: Love and Thunderdespite mixed reviews, indifferent word-of-mouth and scathing reviews among online perennials, reached $342 million from $144 million on its debut and $750 million worldwide, again without playing in China or Russia.

Few franchises make it to the fourth part. Many of the big guys who have done it, like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Toy Story, Mad Max, Indiana Jones and die hardgot legacy sequels “many years later.” die hard grossed $81 million. die hard 2 earned $120 million. Die hard: with a vengeance grossed $100 million. Live free or die hard (12 years later and with a PG-13) grossed $133 million in the summer of 2007. The lethal weapon the series went for $65 million, $147 million (making it the first modern-day pure breakout sequel), $144 million, and $127 million. Batman by Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher from 1989 to 1997 the movies culminated with Batman ($251 million, $162 million, $184 million, and $108 million), as does the Halloween (not counting the sequels inherited from Jamie Lee Curtis in 1998 then in 2018)Friday the 13th, Scream and Child’s play series.

Many of the franchises that got the franchise’s top fourth-round earnings, think Insidious, Mission: Impossible and The Quick Saga. However, they had to decline on the threequel ($120 million for Insidious 3, $393 million for Mission: Impossible 3 and $158 million for Tokyo Drift) before heading up for the fourth chapter ($172 million for The last key $692 million for Ghost Protocol – although less nationally than Mission: Impossible 2 – and $360 million for fast furious). Even franchises that hit new milestones in Part 4, think Star Trek, Harry Potter and Jurassic, had three sequels and three sequels that earned less than the respective franchise starter. In terms of one-two-three-four installments that each increased from their predecessor, madmax had three installments from 1979 to 1986, then a fourth installment in 2015. Pixar toy story had a legacy sequel in 2010 and another in 2019. Fair Play, Thor stands almost alone.

The madmax films ($8.75 million in 1980, $23.7 million for The road warrior in 1982, $36.2 million for Beyond Thunderdome in 1985, then 153 million dollars for road of fury in 2015) sold more tickets nationally for each incremental installment. Conversely, the toy story movies grossed $192 million in 1995/$411 million adjusted for inflation, $242 million in 1999/$448 million adjusted, $415 million in 2010/$500 million adjusted, then $430 million in 2019/$451 million adjusted. Is there another modern franchise with four hit theatrical installments, each surpassing its respective predecessor domestically without taking a decade or three between installments? Yes. The Master of Dreams grossed $49 million in 1988, more than The dream warriors ($45 million in 1987), Freddy’s Revenge ($29 million in 1985) and the first freddie ($26 million in 1984. Even though I missed one, Thor is in rare company.

This “account”, beyond amusing anecdotes, because it is a reminder that, despite the mixed reviews and the buzz, Thor: Love and Thunder was really a great success. Thor has never been the biggest of the MCU franchises, with The dark world earn less than iron man 3 ($409 million/$1.2 billion) and Captain America 2 ($259 million/$714 million) and guardians of the galaxy ($333m/$773m). Same Thor: Ragnarok earned less in 2017 than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($389 million/$869 million) and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($334 million/$881 million). Whether John Wick: Chapter 4one of the few modern franchises (alongside Captain America) to increase each time, earns only 5% more than John Wick: Chapter 3$322 million in cumulative worldwide, I think Lionsgate will be happy. Captain America: New World Order may want to watch The Bourne Legacy Where Live and Let Die as a point of comparison.

It’s also important because, while we’re debating the future of theatrical cinema, it bears repeating that we still had the fourth part of a big-budget franchise that topped its trio even with less buzz and another film hogging the spotlight. Even amid a Covid-challenged summer, with a focus on streaming and economic challenges, we’ve seen all-time box office records shattered left and right. Top Gun 2 is the greatest sequel to the second part of all time. Elvis is the second greatest musical biopic of all time. Minions: The Rise of Gru set a new Independence Day weekend opening record. And Thor: Love and Thunder disgusted Thor: Ragnarokdo it Thor series the first big-budget franchise to make a 1>2>3>4 box office hit with no years and years between installments. Same as just another Thor film, love and thunder became the greatest Thor of all.


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