‘Doctor Strange’ Tops Box Office

Walt Disney Co. topped the weekend box office with “Doctor Strange,” the newest comic-book-to-film character from its Marvel superhero hit factory.

Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, “Doctor Strange” collected an estimated $85 million in its debut in the U.S and Canada, ComScore Inc. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. It beat two other new releases, 20th Century Fox’s “Trolls,” which placed second, and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” which garnered a third-place finish for Mel Gibson’s first directorial feature in a decade.

“Doctor Strange” scored the biggest debut among Marvel movies that introduce a single character since Robert Downey Jr.’s 2008 blockbuster “Iron Man,” which generated $98 million. It gives Burbank, California-based Disney its fifth No. 1 movie this year, extending an industry lead after becoming only the second studio in history to cross $6 billion in annual sales worldwide. Disney’s $6.07 billion in sales this year trails only the $6.89 billion that Universal Pictures tallied in 2015.

Disney is “on a trajectory to be the No. 1 studio, if not for the next five years, then for the next decade,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “We are living in a superhero world right now and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.”

The studio plans to bring more superheros to audiences in coming years, such as “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel.”

Before reaching screens in North America, “Doctor Strange” had already garnered $122 million in foreign ticket sales, researcher Box Office Mojo said on Thursday. Cumberbatch portrays a talented neurosurgeon whose hands are mangled in a car accident. In his search to find a way to repair them, he is led to the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton, who teaches him the ability to harness mystic powers.

The film earned top scores from critics, with 90 percent giving positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com. It cost $165 million to produce, excluding marketing expenses, and was set to generate $85 million on its first weekend, according to analysts at Box Office Mojo.

From Bloomberg

 

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Author: Ray

I am a lifelong fan of everything Disney. My first trip to a a Disney park was to Disneyland as a child in 1970, but didn't make to Walt Disney World until I went with my wife and first child in 1990. A year doesn't go by with out at least one trip to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World. My wife and I are Disney Vacation Club members and also Charter Members of D23.

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