Thor Drops the Hammer on Bad Moms - Week 1 | Thor: Ragnarok | Justice League | Coco

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Thor Drops the Hammer on Bad Moms - Week 1

Thor: Ragnarok
Justice League
A Bad Moms Christmas
Pitch Perfect 3
Star Wars: Episode VIII -  The Last Jedi
In movie weekends, just like in life, there is sometimes competition and there is sometimes counter-programming. When it comes to mini-golf, I never shank a putt just to make someone who scored a six on a volcano feel better. That’s serious business! On the other hand, when my wife wants to watch This Is Us, I don’t need to get in the way of that… I’ll just go do my thing (sports game, horror movie, Mystery Science Theater 3000) someplace else. No worries.

Case in point, I don’t really think A Bad Mom’s Christmas thought it was going to “compete” with Thor: Ragnarok this weekend. It only wanted to be there for those who didn’t want to see Chris Hemsworth with a new haircut. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I know a bad mom or a good mom that wouldn’t want to see Chris Hemsworth no matter what his hair looked like, and the box-office reflected that.

Thor: Ragnarok had a mythic opening of $122.7 million! That’s almost $40 million more than the opening of the last Thor film, The Dark World. Credit the marketing team with focusing on the fun and presenting practically the antithesis of “dark” when promoting this film. Kenneth Branagh tried to bring the Shakespearean elements of rival princes fighting for the same crown in the first Thor. Ragnarok focused on the Shakespearean elements of how many pies can be thrown in each other’s faces… or was that The Three Stooges? I always get those two confused.

While it remains to be seen if “loosening-up” Thor in Ragnarok is actually what’s best for the series, maybe it’s simply that they pulled this off is what’s catching everyone by surprise. Of all the Avengers you’d expect to be cracking jokes, the typically dim-witted demi-god isn’t who you’d pick to become Star-Lord with an accent. It’s almost like Chris Hemsworth realized he was one of the funniest things in Ghostbusters and decided to carry that over to Thor. At least now I know who I want to join Kevin Hart and The Rock in Central Intelligence 2!

For reasons that are unexplainable, A Bad Mom’s Christmas opened the night after Halloween. This sounds like something I complain about in stores when they switch to Christmas decorations too soon and forget Thanksgiving is actually the holiday three weeks away. Regardless, it’s five-day total of $21.3 million was a smidgen lower than the original’s $23.8 million three-day total. It was more of a “leave the crockpot on warm” debut than “boil rapidly for 20 minutes.” Likewise, with the unofficial “Bad Dads Christmas” arriving this weekend in Daddy’s Home 2, there’s not much time for these moms to get the house ready for a long stay.

In 60’s television terms, JFK was Star Trek and LBJ was Bonanza. One has a legacy that’s lasted since its creation, the other is indistinguishable from a dozen other similar shows and has no relevance today. Given that, it’s not much of a surprise that in its first week the LBJ movie only made $100,000 more than It in it’s ninth week. Yup, a $1.1 million opening for one of the least memorable presidents in the past 70 years sounds about right. The producers should have gone with their first instinct to have Lin-Manuel Miranda turn this into a musical. OK, maybe that was just my first instinct, yet that doesn’t mean I was wrong!

The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. Thor: Ragnarok - $122.4 million
#2. A Bad Mom’s Christmas - $21.3 million
#3. LBJ - $1.1 million
#4. n/a
#5. n/a


Extra Bonus Section
Ok, here’s where I sit in the confessional booth, cross myself, and realize there’s no amount of holy water that can save my picks. Usually, just the fact that I made them dooms them to failure. However, after my amazing comeback album of winning the Summer Movie Pool for the first time in literally 20 years, nothing is stopping me now. I’m in my post-Believe Cher days and I’ve got another 20 years of Farewell Tours to cash-in on!

#1. Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi - If nothing else, these new Star Wars movies are going to teach these 21st Century kids how to read Roman numerals. So, yeah, surprise. I picked the follow-up to the biggest grossing film of all-time as my #1. I don’t think it will finish with as much as The Force Awakens, though it should still be like kryptonite to the Super Friends. I went with a $660 million total by MLK Day.

#2. Justice League - With Batman vs. Superman making $330 million and Wonder Woman $400 million, I figured this film will end-up between those two. Am I nervous about now that Thor opened so well? You betcha. And when I see the trailers that look like a bunch of superhero battles right out of a video game? Of course. Still, this is DC’s stab at The Avengers and The Avengers was Marvel’s biggest movie box-office success, so even 75% of that would be amazing.

#3. Thor: Ragnarok - While this looks like a bigger hit than I thought, odds are it continues to land where I expected. Much bigger than anything in the #4 and #5 spots and yet not enough for #2 or #1. I mean, come on, this is still Thor we’re talking about here. There’s a reason why his name isn’t associated with one of the better days of the week. Sure, Thursday’s not shabby, but there’s a lot of other days you’d rather have.

#4. Coco - There’s almost always some Disney film doing great in the holiday season. I say almost because The Good Dinosaur is to Pixar Animation what The Princess and The Frog is to Disney Animation. It feels like this is in that spot to be that family film of the season. Am I worried that Thor and Justice League are considered just as much family films as Coco these days? Sure. In its favor, though, Coco is practically running unopposed until Star Wars opens three weeks later. That’s a lot of time to get people in the seats to see something and they’re the newest thing for awhile.

#5. Pitch Perfect 3 - I swear I was going to put Jumanji here and then, it just hit me… Pitch Perfect 2 made almost $200 and it’s fanbase is both review and Star Wars proof. If it’s trashed, fans will still go just to hear the music. Also, no jedi mind trick is going to keep all the pitches who love these movies from checking it out. Jumanji could have that family film upside, but bad reviews and word of mouth could cut down its jungle. That’s what swung my vote… Now don’t let me down, ladies!

Good luck, everyone!

by Matt Neuenburg on 11/09/2017

Movies Mentioned in this Post: A Bad Moms Christmas, Coco, Justice League, LBJ, Pitch Perfect 3, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok
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