‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Opening Box Office Falls Alarmingly Short

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Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor (left) and Chris Hemsworth as Thor (right)

Credit: Marvel Studios

Thor: Love and Thunder is already open overseas, while the United States audience must wait another day to take in direct Taika Waititi’s second Thor film starring Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as King Valkyrie, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor. Box Office numbers are still coming in, but Thor: Love and Thunder is ahead of Thor: Ragnarok but significantly behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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Thor winking at Valkyrie and Mighty Thor
Credit: Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) stared Benedict Cumberbatch as the former Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Stephen Strange, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez/Miss America, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, and Benedict Wong as Sorcerer Supreme Wong.

Doctor Strange 2 was billed as the most significant event of Marvel Studios’ Phase Four and picked up the Multiversal storyline from Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). It scored a massive $265 million in its international box office debut in May 2022.

Meanwhile, Thor: Love and Thunder garnered $15.7 million on opening day at the international box office. This pace puts Thor 4 24% behind Doctor Strange but 39% ahead of Thor: Ragnarok.

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Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Thor: Love and Thunder is currently playing in 17 international markets, including Italy, Germany, Australia, and Korea. Notably, it is not playing in France, Russia, or China, with the latter being one of the biggest reasons Thor’s numbers seem low. Per Variety, Thor 4 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 by Sunday.

Lower ticket sales could also be a sign of Marvel fatigue as Doctor Strange only came out a few months ago, and Ms. Marvel is in the middle of its first season on Disney+. Thor: Love and Thunder set a record for the shortest gap between the first trailer and the theatrical release, severely limiting its marketing period.

Also, despite its massive Box Office numbers, Multiverse of Madness has divided Marvel fans. It currently has a Rotten Tomatoes of 74%, making it the second lowest-rated release in Phase Four other than Eternals. Thor: Love and Thunder may end up taking its spot in second to last as it currently has 70% ahead of the full release.

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More on Thor: Love and Thunder

Ravager Thor throwing his cloak behind him in the middle of battle
Credit: Marvel Studios

Thor: Love and Thunder is the first Thor film without Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. It will introduce Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher and take the God of Thunder on a journey of self-discovery. It will also feature much of the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, including Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel).

It has received some backlash a head of its premier as some fans call Thor: Love and Thunder “woke” for including Mighty Thor, a woman with the powers of Thor, much like other Phase Four projects introduce more female superheroes like Kate Bishop/Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld), Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani). Some fans have renamed the MCU the M-She-U.

Internationally, Thor: Love and Thunder may also get banned for featuring an LGBTQ+ storyline as King Valkyrie searches for her queen. However, Doctor Strange suffered similarly for featuring a kiss between America Chavez’s two mothers.

Let us know in the comments if you have your tickets for Love and Thunder yet.

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the seven series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight, and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel  — on Disney+ anytime

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