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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ dropped slightly more than expected in its second weekend, coming in at $56.6 million.  Its domestic gross crossed the $200M mark and it has made over $650M globally.  ‘Thor”s drop is roughly 54% which is still quite strong– enough to hold the #1 spot by a large margin.  Its global take, within a matter of weeks, has already beaten those of ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Logan’ and is quickly approaching that of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’.

The big race was actually for second place this weekend, between two very different movies.  ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ was expected to appeal mainly to those over 25, but thanks to wide marketing, is drawing a more diverse crowd.  (Although 50% of audiences were over 50.)  Meanwhile, ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ is doing fantastically for a comedy.  It benefits from being rated PG-13 versus the R-norm, allowing for larger audiences, including families.  Both movies outpaced their tracking, which was around $20M.

‘Daddy’s Home 2’ starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg just barely edged out the star-studded ‘Orient Express’, with $30M versus $28.2M.  Interestingly, this marks the second best opening for Paramount this year, after ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’.   John Cena returned in a supporting role, while Mel Gibson and John Lithgow joined as the fathers of Wahlberg and Farrell’s character.  This sequel is charming audiences who gave it an A- CinemaScore, which is better than the B the first received.  Critics, not surprisingly, still hated it, giving it a dismal 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Along with this week’s #4 movie, ‘Bad Moms Christmas’, this marks the arrival of Christmas-themed films which are pushing out the Halloween entries from the last couple of weeks.  The holdout was ‘Jigsaw’ which is hanging in at #5.

Kenneth Branaugh directed ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, based on the Agatha Christie novel.  He also stars as detective Hercule Poirot.  Joining him are Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, ‘Hamilton”s Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley.  Audiences gave this mystery a B CinemaScore, while critical reception has been mixed, with a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok (Disney/Marvel Studios) – $56.1M
  2.  Daddy’s Home 2 (Paramount) – $30M
  3. Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox) – $28.2M
  4. A Bad Moms Christmas (STX) – $11.5M
  5. Jigsaw (Lionsgate) – $3.4M

‘Justice League’ arrives next weekend and reportedly, test audiences are impressed.  Word has it, this movie falls in line closer to ‘Wonder Woman’ than Warner Brothers’ previous DCEU films.  But then again, prior to ‘Batman V Superman”s opening, the internet– Twitter in particular– was flooded with gushing “reactions” from supposed test audience members who heralded it as the best comic book movie of all time and we all saw what a nonsensical sh*t show that turned out to be.  But after the overwhelmingly positive reaction to ‘Wonder Woman’, plus the golden touch of substitute director Joss Whedon, it is possible that WB has learned its lesson on how to make a proper DC movie.

‘Justice League’ is projected to open in the $110-120M range, although some are more optimistically placing the debut closer to $150M.  In order to be seen as a true success, however, it needs to cap its entire domestic theatrical run at around $900M, which is a tall order, considering ‘Wonder Woman’, the second highest-grossing movie of the year, topped out at $821.6M.

Check back to see how things pan out!

Sources: Deadline, Variety