Thor: Ragnarok thundered to one of the year's best box-office debuts, opening with an estimated $121 million in North American theaters, the AP reports. The robust debut for the third Thor movie was a welcome shot in the arm for Hollywood and theater owners, who have just suffered through a terrible October at the box office. Thor: Ragnarok also bucked the trend of diminishing returns for sequels. The 2011 Thor debuted with $65.7 million; 2013's Thor: The Dark World opened with $85.7 million.
The big opening cements the unlikely breakthrough of New Zealand director Taika Waititi, who shepherded the $180 million production to Marvel's best reviews since 2008's Iron Man. The weekend's other new nationwide release was the holiday-themed comedy sequel A Bad Mom's Christmas. It grossed $17 million over the weekend.
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