Disney and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” infused theaters with magic over the weekend, conjuring up $84.9 million to top the domestic box office.
The opening for “Doctor Strange” – which is only the tenth largest debut for a Marvel film, but impressive nonetheless – serves as another example of the power of Marvel’s brand. Moviegoers continue to head to theaters for all things Marvel, even for lesser known heroes like Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.
The latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, a highly skilled yet egotistical neurosurgeon. But when a near-fatal car accident causes incurable nerve damage in his hands, he embarks on a journey of healing that eventually leads him to the secret world of the mystic arts.
The film also benefited from praise from critics, as it earned a fresh rating of 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes ahead of its release. And moviegoers weren’t disappointed judging by its “A” rating on Cinemascore, a metric that measures movie appeal among audiences. According to Box Office Pro, the audience for “Doctor Strange” surprisingly skewed toward the older side, with 67 percent of those in attendance over the age of 25.
Fox and DreamWork’s “Trolls” finished comfortably in second with a haul of $45.6 million. “Trolls” slightly outperformed the $44.21 million generated by “The Peanuts Movie,” another animated film that opened on the same weekend last year, accroding to Box Office Pro. The film follows two polar opposite trolls – the ever-optimistic Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) and the curmudgeonly Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake) – who must work to save their friends after an outside invasion.
Lionsgate’s “Hacksaw Ridge” earned a modest $14.75 million in its opening weekend to finish in third place. The World War II drama was directed by Mel Gibson and stars Andrew Lincoln as Desmond T. Doss, an Army medic whose steadfast pacifism leads to him becoming the first Conscientious Objector to ever be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Tyler Perry’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween” and Sony’s “Inferno” rounded out the top five with earnings of $7.8 million and $6.25 million, respectively.