Disney’s Doctor Strange brought “stranger things” to the box office this weekend and continued Marvel’s huge winning streak this decade, as Fox and DreamWorks’ Trolls started with what would have been the highest-grossing weekend for a film in 13 weeks since early August, if it hadn’t been beaten out this weekend.
Doctor Strange started in first place with an estimated $84.98 million. The fantasy superhero film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams began at or above other recent comparable superhero films: 48.5 percent above the $57.22 million start of last summer’s Marvel film Ant-Man, 29.2 percent above the $65.76 million debut of this summer’s superhero movie X-Men: Apocalypse, and almost exactly equal to the previous November Marvel film, the $85.73 million opening of 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. It also starts 20.7 percent above the start of the blockbuster that led on this weekend last year, the $70.40 million start of James Bond installment Spectre.
Doctor Strange was helped by its great reviews, including a 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the highest of any of this weekend’s three new releases. The film also received an “A” CinemaScore, the 10th straight Marvel film to achieve that rating. The film’s audience was only 8 percent teen and 33 percent under age 25, both very low figures for the very youth-targeted superhero genre, indicating that this title likely had more adult appeal. That in turn could help its future box office in coming weeks as well, as more adult-centered titles tend to have longer legs than the front-loaded films aimed at younger crowds. The audience was also 58 percent male.
The film also performed terrific in IMAX, as the first film ever to play on more than 1,000 IMAX screens globally in a single weekend grossed $12.2 million on the large screen format this weekend. 3D screenings made up about 47 percent of the film’s weekend gross, according to RealD. The film’s astounding visual effects were greatly enhanced by both the IMAX screens and 3D, and the increased prices for such tickets surely helped the overall gross as well.
Doctor Strange started with an estimated $32.55 million on Friday (including $9.4 million in Thursday night previews), declined an estimated 4.2 percent on Saturday to $31.18 million, and is projected to drop 31.8 percent on Sunday to $21.24 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.61 to 1.
Coming in second place was Fox / DreamWorks Trolls with an estimated $45.60 million. If not for Doctor Strange defeating it, that would have been the best weekend for a film since Suicide Squad started with $133.68 million on August 5. The animated film starring the voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake started 3.1 percent above the $44.21 million opening of fellow animated movie The Peanuts Movie on this same weekend last year, and also started 19.5 percent above the $38.15 million start of fellow childrens’ toy/game adaptation The Angry Birds Movie from May.
Trolls opened to an estimated $12.35 million on Friday (including $900 thousand Thursday night previews), increased an excellent estimated 63.1 percent on Saturday to $20.15 million, and is projected to decline 34.9 percent on Sunday to $13.10 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 3.69 to 1, a fairly backloaded figure which is potentially a good sign for its revenue in the weeks to come — if Disney’s animated Moana doesn’t knock it out in a few weeks.
Lionsgate’s Hacksaw Ridge took third place with a solid estimated $14.75 million. The World War II drama starring Andrew Garfield and directed by the controversial Mel Gibson rode its positive reviews including 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes to a bronze medal start, which is as high a rank as could have realistically been expected given its blockbuster-style competition. Still, the film started below other recent World War II dramas: 37.7 percent behind the $23.70 million opening of 2014’s Fury, and 51.8 percent below the $30.62 million debut of 2014’s Unbroken.
Hacksaw Ridge started with an estimated $5.31 million on Friday (including $750 thousand in Thursday night previews), increased an estimated 11.2 percent on Saturday to $5.91 million, and is projected to decline 40.2 percent on Sunday to $3.53 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.77 to 1.
The top 10 films this weekend made an estimated cumulative $179.77 million. That’s more than double the top 10’s $74.20 million total from last weekend, 142.2 percent higher to be exact. That’s no doubt helped by the strong reviews for the new titles, especially Doctor Strange and Hacksaw Ridge, compared to terrible reviews for the top films last weekend: 22 percent on Rotten Tomatoes for Boo! A Madea Halloween and 20 percent for Inferno. The top 10 this week is also 20.8 percent higher than the $148.79 million on this same weekend last year, when Spectre led the box office with $70.40 million.
A24’s awards contender Moonlight kept up its positive news after debuting two weekends ago to the highest per-theater average of the year, doubling its theater count this weekend and earning an estimated $1.33 million. Impressively, that almost cracked the weekend’s top 10 — coming in an estimated 11th place — despite only playing in about 5 percent the number of screens as any film in the top 10.
Focus Features’ fellow award contender Loving opened to an estimated $169 thousand in four theaters. The film, about the real-life interracial couple in 1960’s Virginia who served as lead plaintiffs on the Supreme Court case that ended up nullifying all state laws banning interracial marriage, notched the highest per-theater average of the weekend with $42,250.
Just as it was domestically, the overseas box office this weekend was all about Doctor Strange. The film took in an incredible estimated $118.7 million overseas weekend, up 38.0 percent, in 53 markets. (The film had debuted overseas ahead of its domestic release.) The movie has earned a $240.4 million overseas and $325.4 million global total, both very impressive sums. Notable grosses to date include $44.4 million in China, $30.4 million in South Korea, $18.9 million in the United Kingdom, $15.4 million in Russia, $11.0 million in Germany, $10.7 million in France, and $10.0 million in Mexico.
The next-best film was Trolls with an estimated $32.2 million overseas weekend, up 7.0 percent, in 67 markets. (The film also debuted overseas ahead of its domestic release.) The movie has earned $104.0 million overseas and $149.6 million globally. Notable grosses to date include $21.6 million in the United Kingdom, $14.9 million in France, $9.4 million in Russia, and $6.8 million in China.
Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, November 4 – Sunday, November 6, 2016:
|2||Trolls||$45,600,000||—||4,060||—||$11,232||$45,600,000||1||Fox / DreamWorks Animation|
|4||Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween||$7,800,000||-55%||2,234||-65||$3,491||$64,990,055||3||Lionsgate|
|5||Inferno||$6,250,000||-58%||3,576||0||$1,748||$26,057,930||2||Sony / Columbia|
|6||The Accountant||$5,950,000||-30%||2,688||-714||$2,214||$70,858,194||4||Warner Bros.|
|7||Jack Reacher: Never Go Back||$5,580,000||-42%||3,079||-701||$1,812||$49,240,000||3||Paramount|
|8||Ouija: Origin of Evil||$3,980,000||-44%||2,380||-788||$1,672||$31,369,250||3||Universal|
|9||The Girl on the Train (2016)||$2,780,000||-37%||1,572||-1186||$1,768||$70,737,365||5||Universal|
|10||Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children||$2,100,000||-48%||1,710||-1087||$1,228||$83,334,389||6||Fox|
|11||Keeping Up with the Joneses||$1,140,000||-66%||1,064||-1958||$1,071||$13,355,236||3||Fox|
|1||Ae Dil Hai Mushkil||$800,000||-63%||296||-6||$2,703||$3,636,565||2||FIP|
|2||Deepwater Horizon||$795,000||-62%||783||-1271||$1,015||$59,964,138||6||Lionsgate / Summit|
|3||Kevin Hart: What Now?||$607,000||-65%||453||-1203||$1,340||$23,157,480||4||Universal|
|5||The Magnificent Seven (2016)||$465,000||-65%||490||-840||$949||$92,251,029||7||Sony / Columbia|
|6||Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life||$415,000||-67%||485||-810||$856||$19,129,785||5||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|7||A Man Called Ove||$369,571||1%||166||16||$2,226||$1,864,547||6||Music Box Films|
|9||The Birth of a Nation (2016)||$262,000||-53%||197||-207||$1,330||$15,574,191||5||Fox Searchlight|
|11||Queen of Katwe||$187,000||-29%||172||-147||$1,087||$8,462,811||7||Disney|
|13||Kubo and the Two Strings||$122,000||-13%||149||-27||$819||$47,776,521||12||Focus|
|14||I’m Not Ashamed||$110,000||-76%||131||-385||$840||$1,949,879||3||Pure Flix|
|15||Hell or High Water||$80,000||38%||144||73||$556||$26,855,601||13||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|2||The Handmaiden||$280,000||-15%||99||23||$2,828||$908,238||3||Magnolia Pictures|
|4||Gimme Danger||$119,000||166%||61||58||$1,951||$174,229||2||Magnolia Pictures / Amazon Studios|
|5||Pete’s Dragon (2016)||$118,000||44%||90||-44||$1,311||$75,578,117||13||Disney|
|7||Mr. Donkey||$76,185||-12%||24||4||$3,174||$211,185||2||China Lion|
|8||The Eagle Huntress||$53,848||—||4||—||$13,462||$66,810||1||Sony Pictures Classics|
|9||The Dressmaker||$51,254||-26%||45||-30||$1,139||$1,813,973||7||Broad Green Pictures|
|10||Christine (2016)||$37,734||29%||40||19||$943||$162,381||4||The Orchard|
|11||Priceless (2016)||$32,050||-75%||43||-138||$745||$1,465,989||4||Roadside Attractions|
|12||Harry & Snowman||$32,000||-31%||20||-5||$1,600||$364,201||6||FilmRise|
|13||The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years||$25,499||-38%||40||-20||$637||$2,810,526||8||Abramorama|
|14||Don’t Think Twice||$15,096||-26%||12||-4||$1,258||$4,386,949||16||The Film Arcade|