Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson, will be in theaters in just a few short weeks. In the lead up to a movies’ release there are inevitably a slew of projections and predictions are sales numbers and box office ticket sales. This week, Deadline.Com released an estimate that the Disney and Marvel Studios production will hit seventy five million dollars on its opening weekend at the beginning of October.
Typically, the survey results come in that garner the amount of interest in those surveyed for the movie, how soon they will see it, how aware of the movie they are and – if planning to see more than one movie that weekend, what rank this falls in their list. Early tracking has come in with estimates anywhere from fifty-five million dollars all the way up to seventy five million dollars. That is a twenty million dollars variance but, quite frankly, entirely within the norm.
Suicide Squad opened at $133 million, Captain America: Civil War’s opening weekend raking in $181 million, and the blockbuster Batman V Superman brought in just over $165 million dollars. But these were all massive ensemble films that are pillars upon which their respective universes are built. They also had massive budgets. That said, X-Men: Apocalypse brought in just $79 million when it opened at the end of May this year.
If we look at solo films, since this is the category that Doctor Strange will fall under, we can see huge numbers, but number much closer to this current projection. One of two outliers for these is Deadpool, which cashed in massively with $132 million dollars and Fantastic Four – a box office bomb – saw a mere $25 million.
Ant-Man, which opened in July of 2015, opened with $57 million dollars. Back in 2014 Captain America: Winter Soldier saw a very successful $95 million dollar opening weekend. So you can see, even with an ensemble movie or whether or not the movie is starring a solo protagonist, a projected opening weekend of $55-75 million dollars is not at all unrealistic. With the added boost from IMAX and 3D ticket sales, this movie will reach its numbers.
Helping Doctor Strange is the fact that it’s not sharing the weekend with any hugely anticipated movies. The animated films Trolls opens that same weekend, but the buzz has not been that great regarding the film. Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge also opens at the same time however Mel Gibson’s movies have not done well at all in recent years. Not only that but Hacksaw Ridge will be targeted to an older demographic than is Doctor Strange.
Election Day is November 8th, four days before the release of Doctor Strange. I think this will be a benefit to the movie as people look to escape the political circus that is the 2016 US elections. There are also no major holidays to take movie goers away from the theater that weekend but it is close to Veteran’s Day. What does this mean? Lots of days off from work and school.
The fact that Doctor Strange is bringing in a new aspect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a double-edged sword at this point, as people are both excited and unsure of what to expect. To date, the MCU has steered cleared of the more magical and mystical elements that this movie will tackle. That said, fans will remember the Stephen Strange reference in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Dr Strange has been a part of the MCU since then.
I would not be surprised if this movie tops out at $80 million for the first weekend in November. However, even with a Opening Weekend at the lowest end of the projection, the movie would still be the most successful movie to open this fall. Reports indicate that the 2016 fall season is down ten percent year over year compared to 2015.
We shall see in the coming weeks if the $20 gap narrows and starts to favor the higher end of the scale, but I am confident it will. An $80 million dollar opening weekend for a movie with a $165 million dollar budget is a fantastic start to a successful run.
Tickets went on pre-sale starting this past Monday so get out there and help make this movie a not-so-Strange success!
Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benjamin Bratt, Mads Mikkelson, Benedict Wong, Scott Adkins and is rated PG-13.
OFFICIAL PLOT SYNOPSIS:
Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Written by Marvel