Despite using London, a star-maker in the movie industry, as a filming location, Thor: The Dark World is widely considered to be among the worst offerings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, the character played by Chris Hemsworth is one of the most popular Avengers, and he has managed to bring Norse mythology back into the mainstream. Taika Waititi was praised for his work on Thor: Ragnarok, and the Kiwi director is returning for Thor: Love and Thunder. The new title could be shaping up to be the most successful Thor film to date.
Thor Has Brought Norse Mythology Back Into the Mainstream
The first couple of Thor films were released in Phase One of the MCU, before the franchise became the hugely successful and unstoppable juggernaut that it is today. Thor was well-known by comic book fans, obviously, but he was far from a mainstream superhero like Batman or Superman. That’s probably why Thor in 2011 was one of the lowest-performing films in the MCU with a global box office take of $449 million.
Thor’s regular presence in his standalone movies and the ensemble Avengers offerings has led the character to become a fan favourite. Despite The Dark World garnering generally poor reviews, it made more at the box office than its predecessor with $644 million worldwide. This highlighted how Thor was well and truly cemented in mainstream popular culture.
This love of the character spilt out into other media, as well, and there was a sudden influx of Viking-themed content in the entertainment industry. Vikings, the TV series, was released in 2013, the same year that the second Thor dropped. Clash of Clans and Vikings: War of Clans were released in 2012 and 2015 respectively. In the iGaming sector, there has been a rise in games with Norse themes as well. One of the most popular slots on the market is Thunderstruck 2, which uses Viking gods as inspiration. It has attracted players who enjoyed Thor and other media based on the period.
Love and Thunder to Continue Thor’s Rise
The box office take took a dramatic rise when Ragnarok was released in 2017, and the third title pulled in more than $850 million worldwide. That means that each film has earned around $200 million more than the one that preceded it. With Waititi at the helm, the latest movie was met with a highly positive critical response. It is expected that the director will improve upon that with his second offering, as he seeks to develop the characters he introduced further.
Another reason why Love and Thunder could be the most successful Thor film to date is down to the serious star power in the line-up. In addition to Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster, Christian Bale will be joining the MCU as Gorr the God Butcher. The much-loved Guardians of the Galaxy will also be making an appearance in the new film.
It would be wise to bet that the next Thor offering will be the most successful one in the series to date. It’s set for release in July 2022 and could end up being the biggest blockbuster of the summer.