Folks might say they’re tired of superhero movies, but try telling that to the box office. Disney’s ‘Doctor Strange’ had a massive opening, conjuring up $85 million, the second best November opening for a Disney film, behind ‘Thor: The Dark World’ which came in after ‘Avengers’. But ‘Doctor Strange’ is a lesser-known brand.
Disney’s distribution chief, Dave Hollis said:
“When you have 51% of the weekend driven by PLF, Imax and 3D, movie theaters exist for a movie like Doctor Strange. It’s a testament to the real artistry here, as the movie uses every ounce of available technology to introduce something that hasn’t been seen.
“It’s a combination of many things. It’s the unbroken critical and commercial success, the consistency of the 10 consecutive A CinemaScores, it’s the halo effect of the brand and the license to take risks with lesser known characters. Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito and the whole senior leadership team at Marvel put an emphasis on character development and focus on each of their character’s particular journeys while empowering storytellers to dive in.”
Interestingly, 31% of exit polls say they came out because of Benedict Cumberbatch’s starring role. (Never underestimate the power of Cumberbitches. Hey, I didn’t make up the term!)
Coming in at #2 is Dreamwork’s ‘Trolls’ featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Timberlake’s single from the soundtrack ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ was the biggest of his career, with 315K downloads the first week it became available.
Both ‘Trolls’ and the #3 movie, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ scored a rare A+ with audiences. The movie scored big with all demographics, particularly those over 50, who are normally critical of everything. But judging by this strong opening, this movie could beat out ‘Deepwater Horizon’ within a couple of weeks.
Here are the numbers:
- Doctor Strange (Disney) – $85M
- Trolls (Dreamworks) – $45.6M
- Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate) – $14.7M
- Boo! A Medea Halloween (Lionsgate) – $7.8M
- Inferno (Sony) – $6.25
Next week is up in the air. The offerings are a mixed bag, sci fi flick ‘Arrival’ arrives, starring Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams. There’s also thriller ‘Shut In’ and family comedy ‘Almost Christmas’. Are any of these strong enough to power past ‘Doctor Strange’ or ‘Trolls’?
Check back and see!