Disney’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the fourth standalone Marvel story about Chris Hemsworth’s hulking God of Thunder, picked up $15.7 million on opening day at the international box office.
The film is currently playing in 17 overseas markets, including Germany, Italy, Australia and Korea, and it will debut in North America and several other major territories on Friday.
Overall ticket sales are pacing 39% ahead of “Thor: Ragnarok” (which ultimately collected $130 million during its opening weekend) and 24% behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (which scored a massive $265 million in its international box office debut).
By the time Sunday comes around, the newest “Thor” adventure is expected to rake in at least $145 million to $155 million in North America (with some estimates reaching as high as $170 million) and another $140 million to $150 million from overseas markets. For now, “Love and Thunder” is not playing in China, Russia or France.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” enjoyed the biggest start in Korea with $3.1 million, followed by Australia with $3 million and Indonesia with $1.6 million. Other top-earning territories on opening day include Italy with $1.4 million and Germany with $1.2 million.
Ahead of Thursday’s openings, Disney is reporting strong preview sales — not including the $15.7 million already reported — in Mexico ($1.9 million in previews) and Brazil ($1.4 million in previews). Across Latin American countries, “Thor 4” has been especially popular on 3D screens.
Taika Waititi returned to direct “Love and Thunder,” which follows Hemsworth’s Norse god as he teams up with his former beau Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who now wields her own hammer as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark on a journey to defeat the galactic villain Gorr the God Butcher (a terrifying Christian Bale), who is hellbent on his plan to purge the globe of all things divine.
The film currently holds a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman was among the more enthusiastic reviewers, praising the film for its “pleasing, let’s-try-it-on-and-shoot-the-works effervescence.”
“‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ is far from standard, and that’s a good thing,” Gleiberman wrote. “…It builds on the earlier film’s highly winning tone of skewed flippancy.”
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