Thor: Ragnarok won’t leave Marvel Cinematic Universe fans feeling short-changed. The running time of the film clocks in at about 130 minutes. This version is shorter than the original 160-minute rough cut but longer than the planned 90 to 100-minute version. The director, Taika Waititi, did not want to cut 40-odd minutes of humor out of the film. His instincts are proving to be correct since the third film in the Thor series received tremendous critical acclaim.
The presence of the humor is ironic since elements of the comic story arc Planet Hulk have been incorporated into the plot. Planet Hulk was not an upbeat tale at all. Bringing elements of the story into a Thor film led to changing Planet Hulk to a more lighthearted endeavor.
The level of critical acclaim for Thor: Ragnarok may be surprising as well. Marvel movies rarely fail to deliver. Most of the films do receive good reviews. Thor: Ragnarok is being hailed as one of the most critic and audience-pleasing films Marvel Studios has produced. Clearly, this is helping the film at the overseas box office. Box office grosses are already well past $100 million. The money should continue to roll in upon debuting in North American theaters on November 3rd.
Both the director and Marvel Studios were wise to choose not to release the 160-minute version in theaters. Even with Thor: Ragnarok being a huge hit, the lengthy running time would cut into the ticket sales. This would be due to fewer showings per day. The makers of Blade Runner 2049 learned the unfortunate reality of how a long film cuts into the box office. Blade Runner 2049 needed all the tickets it could sell, but the length of the film hurt the cause.
Fan attention span for superhero movies can handle something a little over two hours. Thor: Ragnarok definitely has captured the attention of fans and critics. Thankfully for Marvel Studios, it did so in a good way.