Last month, box office analysts predicted that Marvel’s Phase Three adventure Doctor Strange would pull in roughly $75 million during its opening weekend, but some have predicted that it could make more than $80 million this weekend. Today we have word that Doctor Strange‘s advanced box office figures have out-paced at least two previous Marvel hits, Ant-Man and Thor. We won’t know until Sunday how Doctor Strange fares in theaters, but it’s already off to a good start.
According to Variety, Doctor Strange is the top selling movie this week in advanced sales, and it has already surpassing Ant-Man and Thor at the same point in their advanced sales cycles. We also reported a few days ago that Doctor Strange is off to a great start overseas, with an international debut of $86 million. Doctor Strange is scheduled to open in approximately 3,800 theaters this weekend, and it is already a critical hit with a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Both Thor and Ant-Man put up nearly identical numbers at the box office, despite opening four years apart. Thor opened with $65.7 million in 2011, en route to a domestic tally of $181 million and $449.3 million worldwide, from a $150 million budget. Ant-Man opened with $57.2 million last summer, with a $180.2 million domestic tally and $519.3 million worldwide, from a $130 million budget. If it opens higher than projected, it’s possible Doctor Strange could surpass Thor: The Dark World’s $85.7 million debut, which currently stands as the ninth highest out of 13 films in the MCU.
Fandango also surveyed 1,000 fans who had bought tickets to see Doctor Strange on opening weekend, with 97% revealing they were fans of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. 85% said they were interested in seeing a “darker superhero movie,” while 82% said they were fans of star Benedict Cumberbatch. Doctor Strange is also currently the top-selling advanced ticket-seller on MovieTickets.com.
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. Check back on Sunday to see how Doctor Strange and fellow newcomers Hacksaw Ridge and Trolls fare at the box office. We’ve added brand new photos to our Doctor Strange gallery, which you can check out here.