Marvel's Thor may not have been among the most popular superheroes to grace the pages of the publisher's comic books, but as a movie character, portrayed by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, he certainly has held his own. With an estimated $66-million opening, he beat out the original X-Men ($54.5 million), The Fantastic Four ($58.1 million), and Hulk ($62.1 million). Each of those movies, it should be noted, screened without the benefit of 3D surcharges. Thor 's result may have paled compared with the $114.8 million that the original SPIDER-MAN amassed on the same weekend nine years ago, but so do the openings of almost every other movie ever made. It also was well below the $86.2 million that Fast Five grossed last weekend, but no one's complaining. Fast Five plunged 62 percent in its second weekend to an estimated $32.5 million -- coming in below most analysts' forecasts, but its gross rose to $139.9 million -- the most any film has earned this year. Two other newcomers exceeded expectations. Sony's Jumping the Broom jumped into third place with about $13.7 million. Most forecasters had thought it would not earn more than $10 million. And Warner Bros.' Something Borrowed came in close behind with around $13.2 million. It, too, was not expected to earn much more than $10 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Thor , $66 million; 2. Fast Five, $32.5 million; 3. Jumping the Broom , $13.7 million; 4. Something Borrowed, $13.2 million; 5. Rio , $8.2 million; 6. Water for Elephants ; $5.6 million; 7. Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family , $3.9 million; 8 Prom, $2.4 million; 9. Soul Surfer , $2.1 million; 10. Hoodwinked Too Hood vs. Evil , $1.9 million.

09/05/2011