There was little doubt the latest offering from the Marvel universe would do well.
Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams, dominated the weekend North American box office with $85 million. Not only was it enough for No. 1, but the film has now already generated $325.4 million globally, according to The Numbers.
That nearly doubled second place, the premiere of the animated comedy Trolls from Twentieth Century Fox, which managed $45.6 million. The other debuting wide release, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, finished in third with $14.8 million.
That means the top five films of the weekend pulled in an impressive $159.3 million. That was well ahead of the top five films last week, which grossed just $67.3 million. It also beats the box office from a year ago when the James Bond film Spectre debuted to $70.4 million, on that weekend’s box office path to $136.3 million for the top five films.
Last week’s No. 1 and No. 2 – Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween and the third movie in the DaVinci Code series Inferno – finished in fourth and fifth place with $7.8 million and $6.3 million respectively.
While $85 million is good news for Doctor Strange, it’s not exactly going to propel the film to the top of Marvel’s biggest openings. In fact, just looking at this year, Captain America: Civil War had the biggest opening for all the comic book films with $179.1 million back in May. Deadpool, despite its R rating, earned $132.4 million on its opening weekend in February.
But Doctor Strange did get a much better start than X-Men: Apocalypse, which opened with $65.8 million in May. That film went on to earn $155.4 million domestically, and $542.7 million worldwide.
The Eagle Huntress, a new documentary from Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Daisy Ridley, earned just $54,000. However, it was showing on just four movie screens, earning a strong $13,500 per screen. If box office was judged on how much films were making per screen, it would have actually finished fourth.
Topping per screen was the Jeff Nichols written and directed film Loving, which earned $169,000 in just four theaters. That was enough to help it make $42,250 per screen, compared to just under $22,000 for Doctor Strange and $11,232 for Trolls. That’s the best per-screen performance since Moonlight debuted the weekend of Oct. 23, earning a whopping $100,000 per screen.
Doctor Strange has a chance to hold on to its top spot next week when new releases include Almost Christmas starring Danny Glover and Gabrielle Union, Arrival with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and Shut In with Naomi Watts and Charlie Heaton.
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