After kicking off Marvel Phase 3 with the box office blockbuster Captain America: Civil War this summer, which is currently the movie to beat this year with $1.1 billion worldwide, Marvel Studios continues its Phase 3 roll-out by debuting Doctor Strange this weekend. Standing in its way are DreamWorks Animation's Trolls and Lionsgate's Hacksaw Ridge. While both of its competitors are already faring well with critics, Doctor Strange should have no trouble taking the top spot, with a projected $84.6 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that Trolls will actually open in more theaters this weekend, with an estimated 3,950-theater roll-out, followed by Doctor Strange in approximately 3,800 theaters and Hacksaw Ridge in roughly 2,700 theaters. Hacksaw Ridge currently has the upper hand with critics with an impressive 93% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Doctor Strange currently sitting at 90% and Trolls posting a 78% score. Those numbers will certainly change as we get closer to opening day, but it's clear that all three of these new releases have won favor with the nation's critics. We're projecting that Trolls will come in second place this weekend with $42.6 million, followed by Hacksaw Ridge with $14.8 million.
Last month, box office analysts were predicting that Doctor Strange would earn roughly $75 million in its opening weekend. This $84.6 million projection falls more closely in line with Marvel's only other November release, 2013's Thor: The Dark World, which took in $85.7 million en route to $206.3 million domestic and $644.6 million worldwide, from a $170 million budget. We also reported yesterday that Doctor Strange has gotten off to a great start overseas, with an international opening weekend tally of $86 million, with a whopping $18.1 million in Korea alone, which is more than Guardians of the Galaxy, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad made during their full runs in the country. The top 5 this weekend will be rounded out by Boo! A Madea Halloween ($8.2 million) and Inferno ($7.1 million).
From Marvel Studios comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place-a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long, Doctor Strange, armed with newly acquired magical powers-is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
From the creators of Shrek comes DreamWorks Animation's Trolls, a smart, funny, and irreverent comedy about the search for happiness, and just how far some will go to get it. This hilarious film transports audiences to a colorful, wondrous world populated by the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant dance in their step and a song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomachs. The voice cast includes Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches and Russell Brand.
Hacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The top 10 is rounded out by Jack Reacher: Never Go Back $4.7 million, The Accountant ($4.2 million), Ouija: Origin of Evil ($3.9 million), The Girl on the Train ($2.1 million) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children ($1.8 million). It's also possible that the indie sensation Moonlight could crack the top 10 this weekend, as the A24 drama is set to expand with a nationwide release. Unfortunately, we don't know how many theaters it is set to expand into, but if it keeps pulling in numbers similar to the past two weekends, it may wind up on the top 10. Moonlight opened with $402,075 from four theaters, for an incredible $100,519 per-screen average, the highest per-screen average all year. Last weekend, the film expanded to 36 theaters, earning an impressive $900,826 for a $25,023 per-screen average. Also opening in limited theatrical release is Magnolia's documentary Harry Benson: Shoot First, Focus Features' drama Loving and another Magnolia documentary, Peter and the Fire. The Orion Pictures' horror-comedy Trash Fire will also open in limited release on Wednesday, November 2.
Looking head to next weekend, three new films will debut in wide release. Paramount's Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, will go up against Universal's holiday comedy Almost Christmas starring Danny Glover and Gabrielle Union, and EuropaCorp's thriller Shut In, starring Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay, from last year's indie sensation Room. Also opening in limited release next weekend is Sony's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Sony Pictures Classics' Elle, Argot Pictures' The Anthropologist, Indican's The Fiance, Strand's Kiki, Love to Love, Oscilloscope Pictures' The Love Witch and Music Box Films' Seasons. Take a look at our projections below for the weekend of November 4.
|4||Boo! A Madea Halloween|
|6||Jack Reacher: Never Go Back|
|8||Ouija: Origin of Evil|
|9||The Girl on the Train|
|10||Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children|