It’s a bad day for the God of Thunder as the latest entry into Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe suffered a massive drop in its second week at the box office, leaving a future movie potentially hanging in the balance.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) from director Taika Waititi sees the return to the colorful and boisterous world of the Marvel Asgardian gods. Chris Hemsworth jumps back in the Thor Odinson saddle in his fourth solo feature film for the massive Marvel studio franchise. Hemsworth is joined in Love and Thunder by returning Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) star Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, and Thor: Ragnarok (2017) alum, Tessa Thompson (King Valkyrie), and Waititi who plays Korg.
Amid the many reprisals, which also included the Guardians of the Galaxy, Christian Bale and Russell Crowe made their MCU debuts as antagonists Gorr the God Butcher and lightning god, Zeus, respectively. Following Gorr’s attempt at complete god annihilation and his attack on New Asgard, Thor: Love and Thunder sees the eponymous hero return from his quest for inner peace back to his Mjolnir, sorry Stormbreaker, wielding self.
However, despite the anticipation of a Waititi-led follow-up to the fan-favorite Thor: Ragnarok, which essentially soft rebooted the character of Thor, the box office stumped with the latest MCU movie falling incredibly short of previous Marvel Phase Four offerings, Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). Thor: Love and Thunder opened to a global bow of $302 million, and domestically, the movie outperformed projections.
But now, Thor’s recent venture has suffered a massive weekend two drop of 68%, possibly putting the future of the Thor franchise at risk.
…Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunderis having a great fall with a -68% drop for a second weekend that’s estimated to be around $46.5M. While the Taika Waititi-directed movie improved beyond its high $130M estimates last weekend into the $144M range, it’s clear those sour audience exits of a B+ CinemaScore and 3 1/2 stars are taking their toll.
Thor‘s second weekend drop ranks among the MCU’s worst including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (-67%) and Black Widow (-68%). Forget about Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s -68% second drop. That’s largely due to Christmas and everyone knows that Sony/MCU title was making money hand over fist on a daily basis. It’s an outlier.
This update to the journey of Thor: Love and Thunder could leave Marvel studio executives scratching their heads, even with the classic “Thor will return” banner at the end of the first post-credits scene. While it wasn’t confirmed that a fifth solo feature is in the works — there is a chance of a more crossover-based return for the God of Thunder a la Avengers –, the MCU may have been harboring onto Thor: Ragnarok‘s success being replicated, and thus continued, for future movies. At this point, Thor 5 could prove to be an unlikely endeavor — and then there is the case that Waititi said he would only return if Hemsworth did.
In a world where a 35-year-old movie sequel can top $1 billion at the global box office (hello, Tom Cruise) and challenge not one, but two blockbusters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans are seemingly starting to wear thin with the confusing lack of a direction and cohesiveness of the current Marvel Phase Four.
Is it over for Thor?
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Thor: Love and Thunder stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Dr. Jane Foster/Mighty Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Taika Waititi (Korg), Christian Bale (Gorr the God Butcher), Russell Crowe (Zeus), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Sean Gunn (Kraglin Obfonteri), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Sam Neill (Actor Odin), Luke Hemsworth (Actor Thor), Melissa McCarthy (Actor Hela), and Matt Damon (Actor Loki).