It’s the Olympians versus the Asgardians, and now, Mighty Thor has proven victorious!… at least at the box office, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor: Ragnarok surpassing the DC Extended Universe’s Wonder Woman in worldwide gross.
Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring relative newcomer Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman made $821.7 million, making it the highest grossing superhero origin story of all time. The plot has Diana, princess of the hidden Amazon island Themyscira, coming with American pilot Steve Trevor to help with World War I, which turns out to involve Ares, the Greek god of war.
Thor: Ragnarok, however, was a mighty foe. In only two months it has gained $833.7 million, surpassing both of its prequels, Thor and Thor: The Dark World. This adventure mixes myth with sci-fi, as Thor winds up on the alien planet Sakaar, where he teams up with his villainous brother Loki, fellow Asgardian Valkyrie and the Hulk to take down Hela, the evil Norse goddess of death.
There are obviously some pretty big parallels between these two movies, and indeed, Wonder Woman and Thor are often compared by comic book fans: both are based on myths, albeit from different cultures, and while Thor is the son of Odin, in newer stories Wonder Woman may be a daughter of Zeus. Whether purposefully or not, the Wonder Woman film only ups the comparisons: she eventually gets electrical powers, just like the thunder god Thor, and as he carries the magical hammer Mjolnir, she now touts a special sword that she calls the Godkiller due to its power to defeat Ares. (Admittedly there’s a bit of a twist with that one.)
While it certainly lost to some stiff competition, Wondy’s fans are justified in feeling a bit down about this development. Aside from being the first major female superhero movie, Wonder Woman has been the only unqualified success of the DCEU, earning both money and praise from both critics and audiences. Its tone, where Diana learns to be hopeful even in the midst of brutal conflict, was a nice antidote to the brooding, dour mood of other DCEU entries, which have proven to be divisive at best.
Diana may have the power of Zeus on her side, but it seems that she’s still no match for the might of Disney.