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‘Thor’ Keeps Top Spot At Box Office

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(credit: Marvel/Paramount Pictures)

(credit: Marvel/Paramount Pictures)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Thor” nailed down the No. 1 spot at the box office again.

Paramount’s 3-D superhero film starring Chris Hemsworth as Marvel’s hammer-toting god of thunder earned $34.5 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That brings the total haul of “Thor” to $119.2 million, though not quite as impressive as fellow comic book hero “Iron Man 2,” which earned $211.2 million by its second weekend the same time last year.

“`Thor’ had a really great playing field to work on for its second weekend in theaters,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com. “For a big-budget Marvel Comics film that opened very solidly to drop only 48 percent indicates some very strong word of mouth. I think Kenneth Branagh being the director really brought a lot to the table.”

Universal’s “Bridesmaids,” the raunchy comedy starring Kristen Wiig as a down-on-her-luck maid of honor, debuted above expectations in second place with $24.4 million. Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, attributed the movie’s good reviews and word of mouth to wide audience appeal: 67 percent of the audience was female; 33 percent male.

“That’s pretty good considering this is a picture titled `Bridesmaids,”‘ said Rocco.

The next adversary for “Thor” arrives next week with the opening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth film in the blockbuster Disney franchise starring Johnny Depp as mischievous pirate Capt. Jack Sparrow. On Memorial Day weekend come the sequels “The Hangover Part II” from Warner Bros. and “Kung Fu Panda 2″ from Paramount.

“The cavalry is about to arrive,” said Dergarabedian. “We’re poised for a strong Memorial Day weekend. We’re down year-to-date about 13 percent on revenue. A month ago, we were down 20 percent. We’re making up ground, and this weekend was down only 3 percent, which is impressive considering the strength of `Iron Man 2′ in its second weekend a year ago.”

Universal’s car-racing sequel “Fast Five” with Dwayne Johnson shifted into the third position with $19.5 million in its third weekend in theaters.

Sony’s 3-D vampire-hunting graphic novel adaptation “Priest” opened in fourth place with $14.5 million, while Fox’s animated bird tale “Rio” landed at fifth place with $8 million in its fifth weekend in theaters.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Thor,” $34.5 million.

2. “Bridesmaids,” $24.4 million.

3. “Fast Five,” $19.5 million.

4. “Priest,” $14.5 million.

5. “Rio,” $8 million.

6. “Jumping the Broom,” $7.3 million.

7. “Something Borrowed,” $7 million.

8. “Water for Elephants,” $4.1 million.

9. “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family,” $2.2 million.

10. “Soul Surfer,” $1.8 million.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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