Thor Will Challenge Superman at the Box Office

According to data compiled by Box Office Mojo, Thor: The Dark World is earning for Walt Disney   (NYSE: DIS  ) at a pace similar to that of Time Warner's summer hit, Man of Steel.

How close is the matchup?  Here's a side-by-side comparison based on what we know today, though I fully expect the thunder god to have earned more when The Dark World finishes its run in theaters:

Metrics
Thor: The Dark World
Man of Steel

Domestic gross

$203,607,581 estimated

$291,045,518

International gross

$455,410,526 estimated

$371,800,000

TOTAL

$659,018,107 estimated

$662,845,518

Sources: Box Office Mojo, TMF estimates.

Some facts that informed my figures:

  • Through its first 10 days in theaters, Thor: The Dark World was running about 30% behind Man of Steel in U.S. theaters. Holding the same ratio throughout its run would put the film's domestic haul at roughly $203.6 million.

  • Through its first three weeks of international screenings, The Dark World is running a bit more than 22% ahead of Supes. Holding the same pattern would put the thunder god's foreign take at about $455.4 million.

If I'm confident in my projections, it's because they jibe with similar comparisons. The Dark World is running 23% ahead of its predecessor domestically and 89% ahead in overseas territories. Were those ratios to hold, the film would end up earning more than $730 million worldwide.

Enchanted in far-off lands
International screenings account for about 74% of The Dark World's gross as of this writing. Hardly surprising when you figure that 66% of Iron Man 3's haul and 60% of Thor's gross came from foreign territories. My estimate in the preceding table puts the split for The Dark World at 31% domestic and 69% international, well within recent historical ranges.

If I'm right -- heck, if I'm even within spitting distance -- it'll make it easier for Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige to convince Disney to fund another Thor film before a Hulk solo adventure. Or, even better, a Loki film.

Do you agree? Or do you expect next week's debut of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to derail my thesis? Leave a comment below to let us know where you stand.

Thor: The Dark World is already a global winner for Marvel and Disney. Source: Marvel Entertainment.

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  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 10:26 AM, georgethree33 wrote:

    Comparing the box office of Thor, the third time this character has appeared on screen to that of the new Superman film - which is the first for the rebooted character. Hardly a fair or sensible comparison. Instead - compare Man of Steel to the original Thor - that's more appropriate.

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 1:41 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @georgethree33,

    >>Hardly a fair or sensible comparison. Instead - compare Man of Steel to the original Thor - that's more appropriate.

    That would only be fair if Thor were a known quantity at the time of the first film, yet that wasn't the case.

    Superman, on the other hand, was and still known around the world. His brand value easily ranks in the tens of billions -- something you still can't say about Thor, even after the success of this latest film.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

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  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 3:21 PM, cubsblue23 wrote:

    George is right. Comparing Thor, a little known character to the majority of people to Superman who is recognizable to nearly everyone on the planet is hardly fair, yet it looks like Thor will handily beat Supes. The simple reason is that The Dark world has a better story, Marvel didn't sell out their character, and DC seems lost. Bats/Supes is already getting the look of a box office flop. Poor casting, new 52 storyline, and they are working with a tarnished Superman who kills. I have lost all interest in the DC universe.

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