EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Disney and Marvel Studios‘ Thor: The Dark World opened in a handful of territories on Wednesday taking in $8.2M. The pic starring Chris Hemsworth was the #1 film in each market which represented only 28% of its eventual international footprint. It had stronger starts in the UK and France than the 2011 first installment. The North American opening is November 8th. Disney and Marvel see what they call “tremendous room for growth” at the box office from the first Thor which grossed just under $450M worldwide. “All signs indicate we’ll have a much higher result,” an exec tells me. “I can’t put a number on it, but by the time we report domestic numbers on November 10th, we should be in really great shape.” Thor opened to $65M in May 2011 and went on to earn $181M domestic and $268.3M international. By contrast, the Thor sequel opens in November in the majority of its international footprint this weekend starting with major territories UK, France and Korea, then Australia, Germany, Spain, Taiwan and Hong Kong a day later, and Russia, Mexico and Brazil on Friday. Next week China and India open day and date with the domestic opening November 8th. The overseas release follows the world premiere on October 22nd and global press junket in London with director Alan Taylor, producer Kevin Feige, and stars Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and more. The U.S. premiere will be held in Los Angeles on Monday. Marvel revealed the title treatment at Comic-Con 2012 and followed it up at this year’s event with a Hall H panel featuring exclusive footage and a filmmaker Q&A. The standing-room-only crowd of 6,500 went wild when Tom Hiddleston appeared to address the crowd in character as Loki. Exclusive footage was also shown to fans at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim in August. Since then Hiddleston has headlined a worldwide publicity tour with stops in Sydney, Beijing, Seoul, London, Paris and Berlin, plus New York and LA still to come. The Digital 3D and RealD actioner’s screenplay by credited writers Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat based on Marvel’s classic superhero Thor who first appeared in the comic book “Journey into Mystery” #83 in August 1962.
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