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Whisper Numbers: Thor thunders into theaters.

For the fifth year in a row, a Marvel superhero movie opens the first weekend of May to mark the beginning of the summer movie season. This year, Paramount introduces Thor [THOR] with relative unknown Chris Hemsworth [CHEMS] as the fallen Norse God of Thunder.  Natalie Portman [NPORT] and Anthony Hopkins [AHOPK] co-star in the PG-13 rated film, which adds an element of fantasy to the modern superhero story. Even though the comic character is not as well known as Iron Man or Wolverine, Marvel has done an admirable job of building up Thor as an integral part of their Avengers universe. Robert Downey Jr. helped boost the Iron Man openings over $100M, while Hugh Jackman powered the X-Men prequel to $85 million.  Thor is unlikely to reach those numbers with a newcomer in the lead. Slinging into 3955 theaters, Thor could hammer away $68 million.

After opening with the biggest weekend of the year, Fast Five [FFUR5] looks to decelerate quickly in its sophomore frame. While reviews and word of mouth are excellent, the sequel faces direct competition from Thor. 2009’s Fast & Furious dropped 62% in its second weekend, so expect Fast Five to do a similar fall to around $34.5 million.

Counter-programming against the male-skewing Thor is not one, but two wedding-themed romantic comedies. Warner Bros. targets white female moviegoers with Something Borrowed [STBRW] starring Kate Hudson [KHUDS] and Ginnifer Goodwin [GGOOD] as best friends in love with the same man. The PG-13 rated film has generated poor reviews thus far. Opening in 2904 theaters, Something Borrowed may walk away with $12 million.

Meanwhile, Sony Screen Gems targets black women and their dates with Jumping the Broom [JUMPB] about two African-American families from different socioeconomic backgrounds coming together for a wedding. Last year, Our Family Wedding opened with $7.6 million while Just Wright did $8.3 million. The PG-13 rated Jumping the Broom could clear $9 million from 2035 locations.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): THOR, CHEMS, NPORT, AHOPK, FFUR5, STBRW, KHUDS, GGOOD, JUMPB

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, May 5, 2011 @ 03:30 PM 6017 views

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