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 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:


Thor: The Dark World

Man of Steel

Domestic gross

$203,607,581 estimated


International gross

$455,410,526 estimated



$659,018,107 estimated


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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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.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Originally published