"Ender's Game" bows at the first place on North American box office with an OK $28 million after three days of domestic releases. The adaptation of Orson Scott Card's best-selling book of the same name, however, still needs strong legs to justify its $110 million cost.
This could be a daunting task since "Thor: The Dark World" which has proven to be a big success overseas will open next weekend Stateside and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is set to follow two weeks later. Card's controversial anti-gay comments didn't seem to help either.
Directed by Gavin Hood, "Ender's Game" stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley among others. Revolving around youngsters trained in a military school in space to prepare for an alien invasion, it receives a B+ grade from CinemaScore.
"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" slips to the second place with an estimated $20 million. Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman's trip to the Sin City for a bachelor party in comedy "Last Vegas" opens at No. 3 with an estimated $16.5M, and animation "Free Birds" trails closely at No. 4 with approximately $16.2M.
Overseas, the second "Thor" film scores a mighty $109.4 million from 37 countries across the globe, which represents 70 percent of the international marketplace. The U.K. leads with $13.4 million, followed by France ($9.4M), Mexico ($8.2M) and Brazil ($8.1M).
"Thor 2" helps Disney hit a new high of $2.314 billion, surpassing its 2010 foreign record of $2.302 billion. The movie is expected to add a lot more for the Mouse House as it still has openings in China, Japan, Italy and Argentina to look forward to, in addition to the U.S.