The latest entry into the celebrated MCU canon, Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange had a fairly tall task in front of it, needing to both serve as an effective origin story for the titular character and seamlessly integrate magic and sorcery into the MCU at large. By most accounts, the good doctor passed this test with flying colors, earning critical and audience raves.
Financially, Doctor Strange is also already a sizable box office success, after having been in theaters for less than two weeks total. The Scott Derrickson-directed film has so far earned over $365 million worldwide on a budget of $165 million, and based on the projections for this weekend, appears to have positive earnings prospects going forward.
Having picked up another $14.9 million on Veterans Day alone, Variety reports that Doctor Strange is projected to bring in a total second weekend domestic gross of $45 million. That might seem like a fairly large drop from Strange’s $85 million domestic opening, but it’s not too out of the ordinary for genre films. It also easily tops the $36.6 million earned by 2013’s Thor: The Dark World – Marvel Studios’ last fall MCU release – in that film’s second weekend.
Strange is also easily topping its competition, with second place finisher Trolls earning only $34 million, and third place sci-fi drama Arrival earning $24 million. All in all though, it looks to be a great overall weekend for Hollywood at the box office, as all three of the above films are beating expectations. It likely helps that the films all target different key audiences, leading to few instances of moviegoers having to choose to put their money towards a ticket to one option over the other.
As for where Doctor Strange currently stands on the MCU box office pecking order, the film beat out The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor when it comes to domestic opening weekends, and is guaranteed to pass Incredible Hulk’s total domestic gross by the end of weekend two. If Strange’s momentum holds, topping the domestic totals of First Avenger, Ant-Man, and Thor seems possible as well. It still has a ways to go to climb over Thor: The Dark World’s $206 million domestic total, but seems fairly likely to do so. Guardians of the Galaxy’s $333 million total is probably out of reach for Strange though. Worldwide, Strange is basically guaranteed to pass First Avenger on the chart this weekend, and will probably pass Thor as well.
With his MCU debut now under his stylish belt, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is set to make his next confirmed appearance in 2018’s The Avengers: Infinity War, joining up with A-list heroes like Iron Man and Captain America for the first time. There have also been rumors that the future Sorcerer Supreme would show up in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok too, but those reports have yet to be officially addressed.
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