Marvel's Doctor Strange cures struggling US box office

Marvel's Doctor Strange cures struggling US box office

Postby ntscuser » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:58 pm

Mel Gibson’s second world war film Hacksaw Ridge takes third place in a weekend that sees moviegoers flock to cinemas

A strong batch of new films drew audiences to US theaters in large numbers this weekend, including Marvel’s Doctor Strange, the animated Trolls and Mel Gibson’s second world war drama Hacksaw Ridge, waking up a sleepy fall box office. The top three films all received largely positive reviews from critics.

As the superhero in the bunch, Doctor Strange easily dominated with $85m in North American theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a neurosurgeon turned sorcerer, Doctor Strange opened internationally last weekend. It has already grossed $325.4m globally.

It’s the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 14th to open at No 1. As one of the lesser-known properties, it far surpassed Ant-Man’s $57.2m launch, but fell a little short of Guardians of the Galaxy’s $94.3m debut.

Much of the Doctor Strange business came from premium large format screens and 3D showings, which, according to RealD, made up 47% of the domestic gross.

“Movie theaters exist for a movie like Doctor Strange,” said Dave Hollis, executive vice-president of distribution for the Walt Disney Company. For one thing, Hollis said, it’s just visually different.

“Yes, for a marketing tagline the idea that it’s something that you haven’t seen before is a great way to sell something, but having something that arrests and totally disrupts what people are expecting to see inside of a movie theater is part of what will help jump-start what has been a bit of a slower box office lately, which is good not only for us but for the entire marketplace,” Hollis said.

The weekend also drove Walt Disney Studios to surpass the $6bn mark globally this year – a first for the studio and a second for the industry.

DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, a family-friendly musical featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, took second place with $45.6m in North America, and $30m internationally. In addition to being one of the first new family films to hit the market in a few weeks, the film had the added benefit of an original hit song from Timberlake, Can’t Stop the Feeling.

And in third place, Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson’s film about the true story of the conscientious objector Desmond Doss’s heroics during the battle of Okinawa, earned $14.8m. The independently financed film cost a reported $40m to make.

“It’s a real return to form for Mel Gibson, who has obviously had his ups and downs in his personal life, but it is a true meritocracy in this business,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore. “If you make a really great movie, people will judge you based on that movie.”

Gibson hasn’t directed a film since Apocalypto in 2006.

Holdovers populated spots four and five. Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween dropped 55% in its third weekend in theaters. It made $7.8m, bringing its total earnings to $65m.

Perry managed to beat out Inferno again, which brought in only $6.3m in weekend two to take fifth place. The Tom Hanks-starrer has grossed $26.1m to date.

In limited release, the likely awards film Loving, about the true story of the couple behind the supreme court decision that invalidated laws against interracial marriage, opened in four theaters to $169,000.

Overall the box office was up around 16% from this weekend last year, which Dergarabedian said was attributable to the quality of the new films, audiences’ desire for some escapism before the election on Tuesday and the diversity of content. The top three films all had different ratings too. Doctor Strange is PG-13, Trolls is PG and Hacksaw Ridge is rated R.

“This is the formula that Hollywood should try to re-create every weekend,” Dergarabedian said.

Check out the Nov. 4-6 weekend box office estimates below:

    1. Doctor Strange - $85 million
    2. Trolls - $45.6 million
    3. Hacksaw Ridge - $14.8 million
    4. Boo! A Madea Halloween - $7.8 million
    5. Inferno - $6.3 million
    6. The Accountant - $6 million
    7. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - $5.6 million
    8. Ouija: Origin of Evil - $4 million
    9. The Girl on the Train - $2.8 million
    10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children - $2.1 million
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