this is how it went on its opening weekend

New York (CNN Business) — The God of Thunder still has some pop.

“Thor: Love and Thunder,” the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossed an estimated $143 million in the United States during its opening this weekend, according to Disney (DIS).

That figure is on par with industry expectations, which had expected the film to gross around $150 million in North America. Despite not being a record-breaking debut, not even Marvel’s biggest opening this year — which belongs to “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” in May — marks another strong opening for the biggest blockbuster franchise. Hollywood trustworthy.

The film, in which Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, teams up with Natalie Portman’s The Mighty Thor to battle an evil force that is killing gods, has grossed $302 million worldwide so far.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that “Love and Thunder” has garnered mixed reviews from audiences and pundits alike.

From audiences, the film earned a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a “B+” CinemaScore. Now, a “B+” from ticket buyers usually isn’t the end of the world, but it’s concerning for Marvel, since these movies are specifically designed to please the crowd.

If the fan base that sees a Marvel movie on opening weekend isn’t madly interested in what they’re seeing, that doesn’t leave much hope for long-term box office growth.

In short, if it failed to excite an opening weekend audience, who would probably enjoy a Thor Marvel movie reading a phone book for two hours, there’s not much to go from there in terms of box office success. In the next weeks.

For example, “Multiverse of Madness,” which opened in May, earned $187 million in its opening weekend and also earned a “B+” rating. Box office receipts fell 67% in its second weekend and the film was ultimately dwarfed by Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which has earned an estimated $600 million domestically thanks in large part to overwhelming word of mouth. positive.

Tepid reactions are also becoming a trend for the superhero brand recently, with three of its last four movies earning less than “A” on CinemaScore.

So what’s going on with Marvel?

For starters, the brand may be getting watered down a bit due to the glut of Marvel shows on Disney+.

“However, commercial success does not always directly correlate with quality,” CNN media critic Brian Lowry wrote Friday. “A downward trend for the Disney-owned unit raises legitimate questions about whether Marvel’s efforts to fuel the parent studio’s streaming service, Disney+, have contributed to diluting its output.”

Also, the movies following 2019’s record-breaking “Avengers: Endgame” success have felt a bit aimless due to a lack of overarching storylines.

Does this mean Marvel is in trouble? Hardly.

Marvel remains the highest-grossing brand in Hollywood with more than $25 billion in worldwide box office receipts, according to Comscore (SCOR). The studio has the highly anticipated sequel to “Black Panther” (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) scheduled for November and will eventually deliver a one-two punch with the introduction of two of the most notable superhero groups in the world of comics: the Four Fantastic and the X-Men.

Either way, theaters and Hollywood are more than happy to see a big weekend like this as the industry tries to get back to its pre-pandemic normalcy.

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