'Doctor Strange' Ignites Box Office with $84.9 Million Opening
by Brad Brevet
November 6, 2016
The domestic box office got a jolt in a very big way as Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange led the weekend with an estimated $84.9 million followed by strong performances by both Fox and DreamWorks Animation's Trolls and Lionsgate's Hacksaw Ridge. Beyond just the wide releases, the continued expansion of A24's Moonlight also contributed to a top twelve that was up a whopping 133.6% compared to last weekend, generating over $182 million collectively and a weekend that was up 20.4% compared to last year.
Finishing atop the weekend box office, Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange delivered as expected, with an estimated $84.9 million from 3,882 theaters. This is the tenth largest opening for a Marvel movie finishing just behind Thor: The Dark World, the only other film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to open in November.
Compared to over single-character intros in the MCU, Doctor Strange dramatically outperformed Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, which opened with $65 million and $66 million respectively, last year's release of Ant-Man, which debuted with $57 million, and The Incredible Hulk, which opened with $55.4 million in June 2008. Only Iron Man, with $98.6 million ($102.1m including previews) back in Summer 2008, had a larger opening.
GET MORE: Compare all the Marvel Cinematic Universe Single-Character Intros!
From here, should Strange finish with a 2.41 multiplier, as did Thor: The Dark World, you'd be looking at a domestic run around $205 million. However, should it perform as Ant-Man did, finishing with a 3.15 multiplier (the third best ever for an MCU film), Strange would find itself grossing nearly $270 million domestically. It's unlikely it will perform quite that well, likely finishing around $200-215 million thanks to strong critical reviews coupled with an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Internationally, Doctor Strange delivered an estimated $118.7 million from 53 territories, bringing the film's international cume to $240.4 million for a global cume of $325.4 million after 13 days. Of the film's global box office, $24.2 million was generated from IMAX showings from 1,001 screens in 66 markets and ~45% of the global tally this weekend came from 3D showings.
Among the film's overseas highlights this weekend, Strange opened in China with an estimated $44.3 million, making it Disney's third highest 3-day opening weekend in China for an MCU film, behind only Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. In Brazil Strange opened with an estimated $7.9 million in its first five days and in Russia the film went wide after playing in IMAX only last weekend and delivered an estimated $12.4 million, for a cume of $15.4 million. Overall, looking at the same suite of markets, Doctor Strange is showing an overall hold of -38%, ahead of Captain America: Civil War (-41%), Ant-Man (-42%), Guardians of the Galaxy (-44%) and Thor: Dark World (-46%).
Before moving on, it should also be noted that with Doctor Strange's impressive performance so far, Walt Disney Studios has surpassed the $6 billion mark at the global box office for the first time ever.
Fox and DreamWorks Animation's Trolls brought in an estimated $45.6 million, outperforming the $44.2 million The Peanuts Movie delivered over the same weekend last year before going on to bring in $130 million domestically. Trolls does carry a budget of $125 million compared to the $99 million budget for Peanuts, but where Trolls appears to have a leg up is internationally where it has already grossed $104 million in its first three weeks of international release compared to the $116 million Peanuts finished with overall.
The film's opening weekend audience played 61% female vs 39% male with 51% of the audience coming in under the age of 25. 57% of the audience was Caucasian compared to 19% Hispanic and 15% African American. It is estimated 72% of opening weekend audiences where made up of families. The film received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Finishing in third is Lionsgate's release of Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge. The war drama starring Andrew Garfield finished the three-day with an estimated $14.75 million from 2,886 theaters. The film received an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, though audiences over the age of 50 scored it an "A+". The film played even across gender demographics and 68% of its audience as 35 and older.
Elsewhere in the top ten Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween finished fourth after topping the weekend box office two weeks in a row. This weekend the film brought in an estimated $7.8 million bringing its cume to $64.9 million as it will soon pass Madea's Witness Protection to become Perry's second highest grossing domestic release of all-time as a director.
Sony's Inferno is going down in flames, finishing with with an estimated $6.25 million, a 58% second weekend drop as its cume now stands at $26 million, still $2.6 million shy of The Da Vinci Code's opening day.
Finishing sixth with the best hold in the top ten is Warner's The Accountant, dropping a mere 29.8% for a fourth weekend estimated at $5.9 million. The film's domestic cume now stands at $70.8 million and combined with $38.5 million internationally its global cume is just shy of $110 million.
Continuing its expansion, A24's Moonlight continues its stellar performance, delivering an estimated $1.33 million this weekend in only 83 theaters for a $16,053 per theater average. Many theaters playing the film saw box office improving compared to last weekend. Moonlight will continue to expand over the coming weeks.
In limited release this weekend Focus had a strong opening weekend with Loving delivering an estimated $169,000 from four theaters for a $42,250 per theater average. Comparatively, Focus debuted The Theory of Everything over the same weekend in 2014 and it delivered a $41,753 PTA. Exit surveys in New York and LA were very strong, scoring above industry norms, consistently in the 90s across diverse audience segments. The film is poised to continue its roll-out through the holidays and well into awards season.
Also in limited release, Sony Classics' The Eagle Huntress brought in an estimated $53,848 from four theaters ($13,462 PTA) after opening on Wednesday. The film's cume stands at $66,810 after five days in release.
International highlights include more Disney success as Finding Dory added another $1.8 million globally this weekend bringing its worldwide cume to $1.024 billion, making it the second highest grossing worldwide release of 2016.
Elsewhere Bridget Jones's Baby brought in $5.1 million from 51 territories as the film's global cume has now climbed to $202.4 million, though that still places it third within the trilogy, $60 million behind Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Finally, Universal debuted Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals in the UK this weekend where it finished fifth with an estimated $876,000 from 242 theaters.
Next weekend's wide releases include Paramount's highly touted sci-fi feature Arrival from director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker; Universal's holiday, ensemble comedy Almost Christmas featuring Gabrielle Union, Jessie T. Usher, Danny Glover and more; and EuropaCorp's Shut In starring Naomi Watts. In limited release we're getting into Oscar season with the limited, two theater release of Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk in New York and Los Angeles as well as Sony Classic's release of Paul Verhoeven's Elle, which has been selected as France's entry for Best Foreign Language at the 2017 Oscars.
For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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