Fall 2016 has been a disappointing few months for Hollywood when it comes to box office receipts, but this weekend finally brought some good news, which can be summed up in two words: “Dr. Strange”.
In fact, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Marvel movie proved to be a blockbuster in its opening weekend, raking in a domestic take of $85 million. Thanks to the strong performance of “Dr. Strange”, this led to overall ticket sales of $192 million — a 118 per cent increase over last weekend.
“When you have 51 per cent of the weekend driven by PLF, Imax and 3D, movie theatres exist for a movie like ‘Doctor Strange’. It’s a testament to the real artistry here, as the movie uses every ounce of available technology to introduce something that hasn’t been seen,” Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis tells Deadline.
While “Dr. Strange” easily took the top spot, “Trolls” also performed well in its opening weekend, earning $45.6 million to land at #2, beating expectations of a $30-million opening weekend.
“There’s room for other things when the box office is on fire. Especially when you have something that services different segments of the audience, you’re definitely in good shape. We’re encouraged by the huge number of teens seeing ‘Trolls’,” added 20th Century Fox distribution boss Chris Aronson.
Also coming on strong is Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge”, taking the third-place spot with an opening weekend gross of $14.75 million, which was also higher than expected.