‘Thor’ remains No. 1, while ‘Crawdads’ opens strong

By Jake Coyle | Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Marvel’s sequel “Thor: Love & Thunder” dropped 68% in its second weekend of release but still held the top spot at the box office, according to studio estimates on Sunday. while the adaptation of the best-selling “Where the Crawdads Sing” debuted with $17 million better than expected.

Taika Waititi’s “Love and Thunder” topped all films with around $46 million, bringing its two-week worldwide total to $498 million. The significant drop is larger than most Marvel films, but in line with recent releases from the Walt Disney Co. superhero studio, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (68%), “Black Widow” (68 %) and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (67%).

‘Love and Thunder’ also faced a trio of newcomers, though none came close to knocking down Chris Hemsworth’s god of thunder. The best of these was Sony Pictures’ “Where the Crawdads Sing,” Olivia Newman’s adaptation of Delia Owens’ 2018 North Carolina novel. It opened well despite low reviews (36% fresh on Rotten tomatoes).

The Reese Witherspoon-produced mystery stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as a woman who grew up in the coastal swamps of Carolina and focuses on an investigation into the murder of a local celebrity. Moviegoers liked it better than critics, awarding it an A-CinemaScore.

It was a particularly good result for page-to-screen drama, and another sign that adult audiences – which also helped fuel the success of “Top Gun: Maverick” (still in fourth place with $12 million during its eighth weekend) and “Elvis” (up to $106.2 million after four weeks) – has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels after being largely absent for much of the past two years and more.

Aiming at a similar demographic, “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” starring Lesley Manville as a London maid who dreams of a Dior dress, also opened strongly, with 1, $9 million in 980 theaters Focus head of distribution Lisa Bunnell said, “Older moviegoers are coming back to enjoy the theatrical experience.”

Meanwhile, Illumination’s animated sequel “Minions: The Rise of Gru” held the No. 2 spot with $26 million in its third weekend of release. The Universal Pictures release has so far grossed $262.6 million domestically and $532.7 million worldwide, setting box office records along the way.

The Minions have made it difficult for a new family entry: “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank”. Paramount Pictures’ animated version, loosely adapted from Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles,” launched with a modest $6.3 million.

Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.

  1. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $46 million.
  2. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $26 million.
  3. “Where the Crawdads Sing,” $17 million.
  4. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $12 million.
  5. “Elvis,” $7.6 million.
  6. “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank,” $6.3 million
  7. “The Black Phone,” $5.3 million.
  8. “Jurassic: Dominion,” $5 million.
  9. “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” $1.9 million.
  10. “Lightyear,” $1.3 million.

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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