UPDATED: Globally, the Marvel sequel hammers its way past $479 million in ticket sales, already surpassing the entire lifetime gross of the first “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Thor: The Dark World stayed at No. 1 in its second weekend at the North American box office, but Malcolm D. Lee‘s African-American comedy The Best Man Holiday came much closer than anyone expected to the hammer-wielding superhero in grossing $30.6 million to place No. 2.
In another sensational showing for Disney and Marvel Studios, Thor 2 — returning Chris Hemsworth in the title role — fell 55 percent domestically to $38.4 million for a total of $150 million. Overseas, the 3D tentpole took in $52.5 million from 69 markets for a foreign total of $332.8 million and global haul of $479.8 million — already surpassing the lifetime grosses of Captain America: The First Avenger ($371 million) and the first Thor ($449 million).
Enjoying The Avengers halo effect in particular overseas, Thor 2 has already earned more internationally than Captain America ($192 million), Iron Man ($267 million), Thor ($268 million) and Iron Man 2 ($312 million). China leads with $41.8 million, followed by Russia ($31.6 million), the U.K. ($27.4 million), Brazil ($20.9 million) and Mexico ($19.4 million).
The sequel took some amount of business away from Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave, which fell 30 percent to $4.6 million. The awards contender is still one of the biggest indie success stories of the year, grossing $24.9 million to date in North America.
The weekend was supposed to have seen the debut of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street in North America, but Paramount pushed the film to Christmas Day in order for Scorsese to trim the running time.
Next weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire officially kicks off the 2013 year-end holiday season when opening around the globe. The sequel is poised to turn into an instant blockbuster, with bullish box-office observers saying it could open to a mammoth $170 million domestically (the first film debuted to $152.5 million in March 2012).
Catching Fire is rolling out early in Brazil, where it opened over the weekend, grossing $6.3 million — triple the first film.