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May 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

So, can a 3D superhero flick directed by a man generally associated with movie versions of Shakespeare’s plays attract an audience as big as last week’s for a heist thriller spun off from a street racing franchise? Most forecasters doubt that Thor will be able to do so, but, then again, last week they underestimated the drawing power of Fast Five. That movie opened with $86.2 million. The box-office gurus are figuring that Kenneth Branagh’s Thor will have a solid debut with $65-70 million. Like Universal last week, Paramount, which is releasing Thor, is low-balling its forecast, putting the likely result at $55-60 million. No one has much hope for the other two movies opening wide this weekend, romantic comedies Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom, which are each pegged to take in $9-11 million. But Fast Five remains on the fast track to earn $35-40 million, the forecasters say. Analysts will also be keeping a sharp eye on the performance in limited release — 22 theaters — of Summit Entertainment’s The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster and directed by Foster. While the film has received tepid-to-enthusiastic reviews, Gibson himself has received strong praise for his performance in nearly all of them. The question is: will audiences be willing to cross the minefield of his personal issues to go see it?