Speed Reads

the mighty thor

Thor: Love and Thunder scores 3rd biggest opening of the year

Thor is bringing the thunder at the box office. 

Marvel's Thor: Love and Thunder debuted with an estimated $143 million at the domestic box office this weekend. That's the third biggest opening of the year behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' $187 million and Jurassic World Dominion's $145 million. It's also the biggest opening of the Thor series, surpassing Thor: Ragnarok's $123 million debut.

The numbers were quite strong, though there was some reason for concern for Marvel in that Love and Thunder's reception was more mixed than expected. Moviegoers polled by CinemaScore gave the film a B+ rating, which is unusually low for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: Ragnarok, for comparison, received an A. 

But this continued a trend of movies in the Marvel franchise, which had long been lauded for its consistency, getting slightly lower marks. Prior to 2021, every MCU movie received a CinemaScore grade of A- or higher with the exception of a B+ for the original Thor. But since last November, Eternals — the MCU's first film with a "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes — received a B, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Love and Thunder both earned a B+. 

Those grades are still respectable, but the trend raises the question of whether audiences will begin to feel a decline in quality from Marvel, perhaps due to the studio's increased output, and whether that will eventually lead to diminished attendance. 

For now, though, the MCU's box office haul remains mighty.