Thor: International Hit

Lionsgate-Summit’s young-adult adaptation “Ender’s Game” rose to the top of the domestic box office, with a decent estimated $28 million through Sunday, but it was Disney-Marvel’s week-early overseas launch of “Thor: The Dark World” that stole the weekend’s Box Office thunder, posting the fourth-highest international debut this year with $109.4 million.

“Thor: The Dark World,” which bows Stateside next weekend, launched early in 36 territories, representing approximately 70% of the international market place. The early bow, of which Imax contributed a muscular $5.2 million, was meant to further distance “Thor” from “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which kicks off worldwide the weekend of Nov. 22.

Paramount’s sophomore holdover “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” saw a better-than-expected hold, down just 36%, for a projected $20.5 million and a Stateside cumulative of $62.1 million.

Landing in third place domestically, CBS Films’ adult-targeted “Last Vegas” came in a bit higher than expectations, grossing roughly $16.5 million in three days.

Relativity Media’s first full-length animated feature, “Free Birds,” estimated $16.2 million, a tad softer than what pre-weekend tracking suggested the film would gross.

Overall, the weekend’s domestic box office was on the soft side, down roughly 9%, as a bi-product of Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, with audiences likely waiting until Friday to celebrate. There was a solid Friday-to-Saturday uptick in grosses across the board.

In limited release, Universal’s Richard Curtis time travel romantic comedy “About Time” grossed a decent $1.1 million from 175 locations, with the Grove theater in Los Angeles contributing the top gross. Pic expands to roughly 1,200 locations next weekend.

Also delivering a solid opening weekend was Focus Features’ “Dallas Buyers Club,” which averaged $29,347 from nine theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The Matthew McConaughey AIDS drama scored the weekend’s No. 1 gross for the Arclight Hollywood and the Landmark in L.A., though soft results in Canada. Focus broadens the film Friday to 12 more markets, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

For “Ender’s Game,” the domestic start is a disappointment, considering the original expectations were more for a tent pole, which would have justified the picture’s $110 million production budget. Lionsgate put only 20% of the budget, with Oddlot Entertainment and Digital Domain covering the rest.

“Ender’s Game,” based on Orson Scott Card’s 1985 youth science-fiction novel, grossed just $4.8 million for a gross of $9.1 million internationally. The film expanded to 24 overseas countries this weekend, but was clobbered by “Thor.”