Perhaps one year the oft-prophesied “superhero fatigue” will kick in, but that year is not 2016. Despite the ups and downs of the genre’s critical and fan feedback, superhero movies have remained a significant factor in one of Hollywood’s most profitable years yet. 14 films in since their 2008 Iron Man debut, Marvel Studios has fared particularly well. Despite the oft-repeated criticisms of the studio’s “samey tone” Marvel has managed to keep their brand fresh by introducing new heroes and crossover scenarios on a regular basis. While the non-crossover, non-Robert Downey Jr.-starring iterations have tended to be smaller hits, Marvel has still managed an impressive streak without a single box office dud.
Latest off the Marvel money train is Doctor Strange, which did excellent business its first domestic weekend. The Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle brought in $85M, handily beating out Marvel’s second most recent solo hero debut: last year’s Ant-Man ($57.2M).
Even with its strong start, Doctor Strange isn’t currently expected to break the $1B mark worldwide. This is mainly due to the entrance of a magical rival in the form of Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits the international box office next week. Of the many Marvel Studios movies, only four have broken $1B – The Avengers ($1.5B), Iron Man 3 ($1.2B), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4B), and this year’s Captain America: Civil War ($1.15B). Even falling short of this goal, Doctor Strange is already well past recouping its $165M budget and looks to be another positive check on Marvel Studios’ permanent record.
Never one to let a hot franchise grow cold, Marvel fans should expect the good doctor to grace the screens once again before too long. He’s already been confirmed to return in Avengers: Infinity War and those who’ve seen his film’s mid-credit stinger know he’s likely to return before that.
Do you think Doctor Strange was a worthy addition to the Marvel canon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on the Marvel movie catalog as they hit.