Welcome to the Box Office Report, where norse gods always reign for two weeks before the box office catches fire.
1. Thor: The Dark World (Beuna Vista): $38.5 million in 3,841 theaters [Week 2]
Fans of Chris Hemsworth's abs (and Hiddlestoners, of course) helped carry Thor: The Dark World to its second week atop the box office. The second Thor movie has now made more globally (current cume: $479.8 million) than its original. But its second straight week atop the pile was not the weekend's biggest story.
2. The Best Man Holiday (Universal): $30.6 million in 2,024 theaters
The success of the Best Man sequel, released a full 14 years after the original, both directed by Malcolm D. Lee, and what that means dominated box office discussions this weekend. If you want to know how not to frame your point, look no further than this USA Today tweet. Yes, The Best Man Holiday stars a predominantly black cast, and yes, movies with predominantly black casts have done well at the box office this year. But it turns out the proof is in the numbers: 87 percent of Best Man Holiday's audience this weekend were African American; 75 percent female; and 63 percent over 35 years old. An overwhelming majority (94 percent) of people who saw Best Man Holiday this weekend had seen the original, a cult hit in its time. But perhaps most importantly, everyone -- no matter their race, age, or gender -- loved Best Man Holiday. It received a rare A+ cinemascore. The only lesson Hollywood should learn was best articulated by Buzzfeed's Adam Vary: "Audiences will pay to see really good movies with black casts that aren’t directed by Tyler Perry. It seems like a simple proposition. Let’s hope Hollywood is paying attention."
3. Last Vegas (CBS): $8.6 million in 3,237 theaters [Week 3]
More movies about old white dudes? Probably not bringing a big return on investment.
4. Free Birds (Relativity): $8.3 million in 3,510 theaters [Week 3]
Kids movies will almost always succeed, unless they're really, really lazily executed.
5. Jackass Presents: Bad Grampa (Paramount): $7.7 million in 3,190 theaters [Week 4]
People getting hit in the face repeatedly? Also a classic business model. The Best Man Holiday's success isn't about blowing up the status quo, it's about expanding the status quo so it makes sense.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.