Thor may not be sitting on the throne of Asgard, but he's expected to retain the box office crown here in the U.S. this weekend, as Marvel's Thor: The Dark World is projected to generate around $34 million and overcome stiff competition from The Best Man Holiday.
That's the only new movie of the week and the only other film besides Thor that Box Office Mojo has predicted to break $10 million at the box office. The way they see it playing out, Thor: The Dark World will take around $34 million, followed by The Best Man Holiday with $24 million and then Last Vegas with $9 million and change.
That total for Thor would represent a 60% drop week-to-week, roughly comparable with the 62% tumble that Ender's Game took between its first and second weekends. Ender's, meanwhile, may squeak its way into the weekend's top five and will likely pass $50 million at the domestic box office this weekend (it's sitting at close to $47 million now, and should come in at #5 behind Thor, The Best Man, Last Vegas and Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa. The prospects for a sequel to Ender's Game are still looking pretty dim, as it would take a significant and nearly-unprecedented rally at the crowded November box office to see the film turn a profit on its $120 million budget at the domestic box office. Distributor Lionsgate has shown with Dredd that they'll entertain anything--but that nothing will be given easily.
The Best Man is an interesting animal; with a small budget and some name stars (Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs and Terrence Howard) and strong tracking--the studio is saying that it expects the movie to perform in the $15 million to $20 million range, but Fandango reports strong enough sales that going as high as $30 million--while unlikely--wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility. Then again, with many films where big groups are going together, Fandango's projections can be off; they're counting presales, which tend to be the tickets bought by the most committed fans or those who want to ensure their large group all get seats. They had projected a fairly spectacular opening for Ender's Game, for instance, which turned out to be a solid opener but nothing exciting.