Box office: ‘Thor 2’ hammers the competition with $31.6 million on Friday

Once again, Thor is working his magic at the box office.

Marvel’s “Thor 2: The Dark World” ruled the box office Friday night, debuting to a mighty $31.6 million.

The film — starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christopher Eccleston and Tom Hiddleston — is expected to earn around $80 million in its opening weekend. 

“Thor” opened internationally last weekend, and it will likely cross the $300 million mark globally this weekend.

The sequel is out-pacing the original, which opened in May of 2011. That film scored $25.4 million on opening day and went out to earn $65.7 million in its debut weekend. However, Thor can’t compete with his fellow Avenger Tony Stark. Earlier this year, “Iron Man 3” earned a whopping $68.8 million on opening day, on its way to a $174.4 million opening weekend. 

Both films benefitted from the massive success of 2012’s “The Avengers,” which featured Marvel heroes Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye.

Somewhat surprisingly, Friday’s No. 2 spot went to the comedy “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” which earned another $3.4 million. Starring Johnny Knoxville, the film’s domestic total stands at $70.8 million.

In third place was the comedy holdover “Last Vegas” with $3.2 million. It has so far earned $25.6 million in th U.S. It stars Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline.

“Ender’s Game,” last week’s No. 1 film, slid to No. 4 on Friday, with $2.9 million. The $100 million+ Orson Scott Card adaptation has so far earned just $36.6 million domestically.

Rounding out the top five was the animated comedy “Free Birds,” which flew away with another $2.6 million. Its domestic total stands at $21.6 million.

Look for complete box office estimates for the weekend on Sunday.