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Chris Hemsworth is an international superstar now, but it wasn’t always that way. Star Trek, in which he plays George Kirk, was his first movie, but it didn’t lead to tons of opportunities. He was running out of money and almost quit acting before he won the role of the lifetime playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With his latest MCU movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, about to hit theaters, let’s look at the five Hemsworth movies with the best opening weekends.

A few notes: We only considered starring roles or large parts, which means no Star Trek. We also did not consider the Avengers movies since it’s hard to define the star of the ensemble casts (and it would make for an unlevel playing field). All figures are adjusted to 2022 dollars using an inflation calculator. Original opening weekend figures courtesy of IMDb.

Chris Hemsworth attends the 'Thor: Love and Thunder' world premiere. If it follows the trend set by the other 'Thor' movies, it will join the list of Hemsworth movies with the best opening weekends.
Chris Hemsworth at the ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ world premiere | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney

6. ‘Ghostbusters’: $56.0 million

  • Release date: July 15, 2016

Hemsworth starred in several movies on the heels of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and this female-led reboot of the comedy-horror classic was one of them. The movie doesn’t rank highly among the Ghostbusters movies, but Hemsworth flashes his comedy chops after making a name for himself in action movies.

Hemsworth co-starred alongside Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon as this Ghostbusters opened with just over $46 million in 2016, the equivalent of $56 million in 2022. It earned more than $229.1 at the box office when it left theaters.

5. ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’: $71.5 million

  • Release date: June 1, 2012

The first of the two Huntsman movies came on the heels of the first Avengers film in 2012, and it ranks among the Hemsworth movies with the best opening weekends. 

The Huntsman and Snow White (Kristen Stewart) encounter trolls, faeries, and white stallions while on the run from Charlize Theron’s Ravenna, only to face off against her and her army at the climax. The violent spin on the classic tale maintains some of the elements of the old story, and audiences showed out for it. The film earned $56.2 million the first weekend, which is more than $71.5 million in 2022 dollars.

4. ‘Thor’: $85.4 million

  • Release date: May 6, 2011

His first Thor audition did not go well, and Marvel ghosted Hemsworth (and nearly cast his brother, Liam). But when Marvel opened up auditions again, Chris Hemsworth won the part that contributed to his movies with the best openings.

Joss Whedon, who wrote and produced The Cabin in the Woods, a movie that starred Hemsworth after his failed audition, recommended Thor director Kenneth Branagh take a closer look at the Australian actor for the part. He nailed his second audition, and with Love and Thunder, Hemsworth becomes the first MCU actor to star in four solo movies.

The first Thor movie earned $65.7 million its first weekend in 2011, which is more than $85.4 million in 2022, and it brought in nearly $450 million worldwide. Not bad for the film that was Hemsworth’s first prominent starring role.

3. ‘Thor: The Dark World’: $107.5 million

  • Release date: Nov. 8, 2013

Thor: The Dark World isn’t a crowd-pleaser. On the heels of the success of the first movie, its darker themes didn’t sit well with some MCU fans. With some fans calling the script boring, it was doomed before it began.

Yet by the time the mixed word-of-mouth reviews got around, The Dark World was already one of the Hemsworth movies with the best opening weekends. It brought in $87.5 million its first weekend, the equivalent of more than $107 million in 2022, and it earned more than $644.7 million when it left the theaters.

2. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: $143 million

  • Release date: July 8, 2022
  • Hemsworth is officially a record-setter. He accepted the challenge of playing Thor in a fourth movie, and became the first MCU actor to star in four solo films. Re-teaming with director Taika Waititi and frequent co-star Tessa Thompson proved to be a hit with fans as Love and Thunder hammered the competition at the box office.

    The $143 million opening was nearly $100 million better than the No. 2 film at the box office (Minions: The Rise of Gru). If we didn’t adjust for inflation, Love and Thunder would sit at the top of our list, but it still came close to earning the No. 1 spot on the list of Hemsworth movies with the best opening weekends.

    1. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’: $146.3 million


    Chris Hemsworth Says ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Could be His Final Marvel Movie

    • Release date: Nov. 3, 2017

    Perhaps trying to wash away the taste of The Dark World, fans flocked to see Thor: Ragnarok when it opened. Waititi made his MCU directorial debut with this movie, which opened to $122.7 million its first weekend.

    Waititi, who wrote, directed, and plays Korg, added some serious Oscar-winning firepower to Love and Thunder, which could help it succeed at the box office when it debuts July 8. Time will tell if the fourth Thor movie rearranges the list of Hemsworth movies with the best opening weekends. But if it follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, there’s a good chance it will.

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