The superhero sequel Thor: The Dark World was anticipated to hold the box-office crown for its second weekend in theaters, but its competition wasn't expected to be so near on its heels.
As Thor pulled in an estimated $38.5 million domestic over the weekend to remain at no. 1 for its second-straight weekend, another sequel film exceeded all expectations and nearly dethroned the Chris Hemsworth film from the top of the box office.
Best Man Holiday, a sequel to the 1999 comedy Best Man, reaped an unforeseen $30.6 million domestic in its opening weekend, nearly surpassing the $34.1 million ($47.93 inflation-adjusted) its predecessor made for its entire box-office run.
Nearly tying for third place below the box-office boomers were the comedy Last Vegas (3rd: $8.9 million, $47 million) and the animated comedy Free Birds (4th: $8.3 million, $42.2 million), which have experienced nearly identical runs in their three weeks in theaters.
Trailing shortly behind were the box-office behemoths Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (5th: $7.7 million, $90.2 million) and the awards-buzzing space thriller Gravity (6th: $6.3 million, $240.6 million), which has now pulled in nearly $515 million worldwide.
A pair of fellow long-running awards-buzzing films, 12 Years a Slave (8th: $4.7 million, $24.9 million) and Captain Phillips (9th: $4.5 million, $97.6 million)continued to rake in steady totals behind the struggling sci-fi action film Ender's Game ($6.2 million, $53.8 million), which needs to amass an additional $37 million in order to reach its $110-million budget.
Rounding out the box office was the Rachel McAdams romantic time-travel comedy About Time, which squeezed out $3.5 million in its third weekend to bump its domestic total to $11.6 million.
While About Time has struggled to engage its domestic audience, it has experienced nearly quadruple the success abroad, and its worldwide total now stands at nearly $53 million.