‘Thor: Ragnarok’ rumbles to $121M box-office debut

The big opening cements the unlikely breakthrough of New Zealand director Taika Waititi

“Thor: Ragnarok” thundered to one of the year’s best box-office debuts, opening with an estimated $121 million in North American theatres.

The robust debut for the third “Thor” movie was a welcome shot in the arm for Hollywood and theatre 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.

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

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