While many skeptics thought Doctor Strange might not click with audiences in the same way other Marvel films have, the opening night figures in North America say otherwise. Of the 14 films in the MCU, Doctor Strange landed the seventh highest Thursday night preview gross in the lineup.
Taking in an estimated $9.4 million, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring origin film for the Sorcerer Supreme beat the preview grosses for both Ant-Man and Thor: The Dark World. This is a very notable win for Marvel and Disney, as Ant-Man grossed $57 million in its opening weekend while the Thor sequel generated a whopping $85m debut. It is worth noting that Thor: The Dark World also opened in November.
Strange also isn’t far off from the 10.3m preview of Guardians of the Galaxy which saw a $94m gross over the Friday to Sunday frame. Looking at these figures, the Doctor should be able to gross at least $80m this weekend and possibly more if audiences really take to the film. With a tomatometer rating of 90%, expect fans and casual viewers to respond accordingly to the visually-trippy 3D adventure. A high-end figure of around $95m (about matching the Guardians debut) for the weekend is certainly in the cards as well considering the States have next-to-no competition from holdover films. Only the debuts of Trolls and the Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge could dip into the audiences somewhat.
While nothing to wince at, an $80m-minimum debut would actually be on the lower end of the MCU films of late. But for a character debut, that figure would actually manage to top the opening weekend grosses of Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Ant-Man. And to that we can only tip our hats to the significance of Marvel. They have remained consistent with their brand and audiences are still salivating over what they’ll deliver next.
Source: Box Office Mojo