Marvel Studios is getting ready to unleash their latest superhero on the world and things are looking pretty good so far. Doctor Strange is scheduled to hit theaters and IMAX in just a few weeks and even though it may not do Iron Man numbers, it looks like the Master of the Mystic Arts will have a pretty solid showing at the box office. Early tracking for the movie shows that Doctor Strange could bring in as much as $75 million opening weekend.
Deadline is reporting that Marvel's Doctor Strange has a pretty wide gap in projections for its opening weekend box office. On the low end, the movie should bring in $55 million but could top out around $75 million. Given the November release date and the fact that Doctor Strange is a relatively unknown character even to many comic book fans, that would be a pretty solid number.
Even if Doctor Strange does wind up at the higher end of current projections, it will be on the lower end of Marvel Cinematic Universe opening weekends. The current low is The Incredible Hulk, which opened to $55 million back in 2008. Marvel Studios has only opened one other movie in November, which was Thor: The Dark World in 2013. That strategy paid off, as the movie earned $85 million on its opening weekend, besting the first Thor opening by $20 million. But Thor: The Dark World also benefited by coming out after The Avengers, which helped to familiarize more of the general public with the character.
Doctor Strange has only had a very subtle name drop in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Outside of that, the character has had zero screen time or build up in the MCU. Much like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, this movie is going to ride or die with the marketing. It is hard to know exactly how things will pan out. Many felt that Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge risk prior to the release and the movie wound up breaking the August record for opening weekend box office at the time, bringing in $94 million. On the other hand, Ant-Man opened to a pretty soft $57 million, but wound up grossing $519 worldwide. That number is pretty impressive for a bizarre character many fans knew little about.
Marvel is hoping that moviegoers respond well to the Doctor Strange movie because they have larger plans for the character. He will be featured in Avengers: Infinity War and we can only assume there will be sequels, unless for some reason the movie bombs in an inconceivable way. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios recently screened 15 minutes of footage from Doctor Strange to fans all around the country, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, which should help on the word-of-mouth side of things heading into the release.
If there is one thing Marvel has taught us it is to never underestimate them. It is entirely possible that with the impressive cast they have assembled, Doctor Strange will surpass expectations. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Mads Mikkelsen. Doctor Strange was directed by Scott Derrickson and is set to hit theaters on November 4.