Why the movie Thor was a flop.
To begin with I saw Thor, I saw Thor twice, I loved Thor and think it is one of the best comic book movies ever made. Also to be clear, this is my opinion and I am only talking DOMESTIC numbers. I am an ‘expert’ on domestic movie revenue not worldwide movie revenue.
Thor made $65 million on its US opening weekend (with midnight showings). This SUCKS and this is why I call the movie a flop. If you are a summer blockbuster, you MUST make $100+ million dollars on your opening weekend or you have failed.
WOW, that’s a lot of pressure you say. Yes it is but these movies are known as summer blockbusters for a reason. Let’s look first look at the top 10 grossing movies of 2010, 2009 and 2008:
1 Toy Story 3 $415,004,880
2 Alice in Wonderland $334,191,110
3 Iron Man 2 $312,433,331
4 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $300,531,751
5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 $295,001,070
6 Inception $292,576,195
7 Despicable Me $251,513,985
8 Shrek Forever After $238,736,787
9 How to Train Your Dragon $217,581,231
10 Tangled $199,700,971
1 Avatar $749,766,139
2 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $402,111,870
3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $301,959,197
4 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $296,623,634
5 Up $293,004,164
6 The Hangover $277,322,503
7 Star Trek $257,730,019
8 The Blind Side $255,959,475
9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $219,614,612
10 Sherlock Holmes $209,028,679
1 The Dark Knight $533,345,358
2 Iron Man $318,412,101
3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $317,101,119
4 Hancock $227,946,274
5 WALL-E $223,808,164
6 Kung Fu Panda $215,434,591
7 Twilight $191,465,414
8 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $180,010,950
9 Quantum of Solace $168,368,427
10 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! $154,529,439
So judging historically a movie is going to need to generate at least $150 million dollars to break the top ten for the year. Will Thor hit this mark? NO. My guess is that Thor will crack the $100 million mark and probably stretch to about $125 million. Not bad, but for a summer blockbuster it’s a flop.
Let’s look at a different set of numbers:
Do you think $66 million was a good opening weekend? Well it’s not, let’s look at why.
Iron Man 2 – This was a sequel so it already had a following. Even though the sequel wasn’t as good as the first movie Iron Man 2 raked in an impressive $128 million on its opening weekend.
X-Men Origins – Wolverine – Again this was an established character and opened the same weekend as Thor but made an impressive $85 million.
Iron Man – very similar to Thor, in that this was the first movie in the franchise and the opening weekends were similar. Iron Man made $98 million opening weekend.
But $66 million is respectable.
No it is not. Remember ticket prices in 2011 are up 20% from what they were in 2008 and 2009.
Will Thor make money?
Yes, reports have the production of Thor costing $125 million. I know that doesn’t count the $20 million in advertising expenses that went into the movie and all of the other money for distribution (both domestic and overseas). But at the end of the day yes, Thor will probably make money. Does that mean Thor is not a flop?, probably. But I still think if you are a summer blockbuster and you are opening for any less than $100 million then you have problems.
Let’s wait and see how Green Lantern, X-Men, and Captain America do.