"Thor" hammers away at box office competition again

Sun May 15, 2011 5:16pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Thor" reigned at the North American box office for the second straight weekend while the raunchy women's comedy "Bridesmaids" beat expectations to come in second.

According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, the Marvel comics 3D film "Thor," about the earthly adventures of the god of thunder, sold $34.5 million worth of tickets over the weekend while "Bridesmaids" brought in $24.4 million.

"The big news is that 'Bridesmaids' did much better than expected," said Paul Dergarabedian, head of tracking firm Hollywood.com Box Office.

Universal Pictures, the studio behind "Bridesmaids," had expected the film, which was produced by comedy powerhouse Judd Apatow on a budget of $32.5 million, to have an opening weekend more than $10 million lower than what it posted.

The movie, starring Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, was unusual for a film geared to women because it had plenty of raunchy bits in typical Apatow film.

But it appears not only women took a shine to the film's gross-out moments but men also were drawn to a movie about the misadventures of a group of bridesmaids who see their friendship tested by the stress of a wedding.

"Men like this movie as much as women. Now the word of mouth will filter out that it's OK for a man to go see a movie called 'Bridesmaids,'" said Nikki Rocco, Universal Pictures president of distribution.

The action movie "Fast Five," in its third week at theaters, had a strong showing with $19.5 million and came in third, leaving fourth place to the action horror flick "Priest," which opened with a disappointing $14.5 million.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Chris Hemsworth poses for photographers on the red carpet at the world premiere of the film 'Thor' in Sydney April 17, 2011. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz</p>