Box Office: Magic Reigns for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ and ‘Trolls’

"Doctor Strange" (2016) - Box Office

‘Doctor Strange’ is Box Office Supreme with $85M Start

There’s magic in the air as for the 14th time, Marvel reigns atop the box office. Its latest superhero film, Doctor Strange conjured an estimated $85 million over the weekend.

The arrival and impact of Doctor Strange was up in the air for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Origin stories haven’t been the biggest draw for the franchise outside of Iron Man ($98.6 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million). The other four origin installments have played between $55-65 million. Factor in the critical praise and Benedict Cumberbatch’s starpower and Doctor Strange delivered. Don’t shortchange the Expand Your Mind IMAX Event either, which generated plenty of buzz. Right now, Doctor Strange is on par with Thor: The Dark World’s opening ($85.7 million). Will the good doctor burn up as the less receptive sequel. Right now, it’s too early to tell. Even the acclaimed Captain America: Civil War failed to keep audiences in theaters in its following weeks. Casting a spell over the $200 million milestone seems to be the goal right now.

Defeating Marvel seemed like the impossible task this week. Still, DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls brightened up the second place spot with $45.6 million. Starring Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, Trolls fit right alongside so many other DreamWorks debuts. Its last two films Kung Fu Panda 3 ($41.3 millon) and Home ($52.1 million) were major hits. Audiences have been positively receptive, especially with its A grade on Cinemascore. Trolls has two more weeks of play before Disney’s Moana takes over the multiplexes. Still if it plays like a typical DreamWorks fall release, (Puss in Boots, Megamind), Trolls could flirt with a solid $150 million run.

As Doctor Strange and Trolls scored the two biggest openings since August, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge found an audience as well. The World War II drama opened to third place with $14.8 million. Hacksaw Ridge managed to open on par with his latest film, Apocalypto ($50.9 million). And of course, it came nowhere near his 2004’s smash hit The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million). The question now is how well will it perform in the coming weeks. The film did capture an A on Cinemascore and may even be on the award season radar. Gibson hasn’t seen this critical attention since Braveheart in 1995. We’ll know soon enough whether Hacksaw Ridge has enough fight for a leggy box office run.

With Halloween in the rear view mirror, Boo! A Madea Halloween came crashing back to normal numbers. Dropping 54.7% from last weekend, the latest Tyler Perry flick settled for fourth place with $7.8 million. It’s no shocker that the Halloween buffer is gone. A trifecta of new releases didn’t help either with Marvel’s Doctor Strange leading the pack. On the bright side, Boo! will become the second biggest Madea movie in the next day to two. It’s a spot that’ll most likely hold. Madea Goes to Jail’s $90.5 million haul in 2009 is out of reach. And an $80 million run, seven films in is highly impressive. Tell that to Saw or Chucky for that matter.

After an apocalyptic start last weekend, Inferno continues to plummet, claiming fifth place. Down 57.9%, the Ron Howard production grossed another $6.3 million over the weekend. That’s much harder than The Da Vinci Code (-55.8%) and Angels & Demons (-53%). At its current pace, Inferno will not even pass Angels & Demons’ $46.2 million debut in 2009 in the long run. Overall, this is incredibly disappointing for Sony. Still, with many sequels underperforming in 2016, this shouldn’t come as a complete shocker.

All three newcomers surpassed my predictions this past Thursday.

Note: These #’s are based on Sunday’s projections and can change with Monday’s actual #’s.

#1 – Doctor Strange (NR)
$85.0 million / $85.0 million total

#2 – Trolls (NR)
$45.6 million / $45.6 million total

#3 – Hacksaw Ridge (NR)
$14.8 million / $14.8 million total

#4 – Boo! A Madea Halloween (1)
$7.8 million  / $65.0 million total

#5 – Inferno (2)
$6.3 million / $26.1 million total

Opening Next Week: Almost Christmas, Arrival, Shut In, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (limited) 

Source: Box Office Mojo

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