Thor: The Dark World is currently lighting up cinema screens across America, and indeed across the globe, and playing to packed-out cinemas still, even after enjoying a thoroughly impressive opening weekend. Bringing in a remarkable $86,109,000 (via Box Office Mojo) in the US alone this weekend, the film has smashed the example set by the first Thor film and continued to show that there is an audience, one as hungry as ever, for the many superhero films being churned out by Hollywood.

Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder made a mighty impression in The Avengers, and his new solo film is benefitting from it

There is no denying the film's immediate success, even on the back of some lukewarm reviews, but how much of this success can be attributed to the film as a stand-alone product, rather than a new piece of an already successful pie. In particular, the astounding success of The Avengers would have encouraged people to flock to the cinemas this weekend hoping for their latest fix of superhero mayhem, just as it did earlier this year when Iron Man 3 drew in huge audiences from the word go. Thor 2 is unlikely to match the success of Iron Man 3, but considering Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder pales in comparison to Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man/Tony Stark in terms of popularity, the Thor sequel was never quite going to match Iron Man's success.

But the connection with The Avengers is a clear one, as Iron Man 3's opening gross totaled 36% more than its predecessor, whilst Thor 2 similarly smashed the record set by its predecessor with a 31% increase. Considering the 3D takings for Thor 2 were down from the first one, we can only be led to assume that the increased profile given to Thor, and indeed to Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as well, in The Avengers film would have resulted in the sequel performing so well.

Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston's Loki has proved popular with moviegoers

The film's success may also reflect on a poor weekend for movies in general at the box office, with its nearest competition coming from Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, but it should be noted that the amount made in cinemas over the weekend indicates an overall rise in ticket sales, rather than a general decline (full box office review available here).

Watch the trailer for Thor: The Dark World