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 Dark World Jane Asgard

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

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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