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Image via Marvel Studios

Image via Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios’ latest film, Doctor Strange, seems to be on the right track to make a huge splash at the box office this weekend. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has had a strong start with its Thursday opening screenings, taking in $9.4 million domestically.

So what does this number say about the film’s potential gross for the entire weekend? As we know, Marvel Studios, as well as other third party outlets, have been playing it pretty conservative, and were initially predicting somewhere in the realm of $55-$75 million in its domestic opening weekend.



Those projections definitely sound pretty low, but if you take into consideration how the other character introductory films have done, this doesn’t sound as ridiculous. While comic book fans may know who Doctor Strange is, your average moviegoer likely has very little idea who he is, and what his connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is as a whole.

So how does this $9.4 million opening Thursday fall in line with those predictions? Well, it exceeds them, by quite a lot. Just take a look at this handy list Box Office Mojo put together, correlating the Thursday openings to their weekend openings:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron – $27.6m preview ($191.27m opening)
  • Captain America: Civil War – $25m preview ($179.14m opening)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers – $18.7m preview ($207.44m opening)
  • Iron Man 3 – $15.6m preview ($174.14m opening)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – $11.2m preview ($94.32m opening)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $10.3m preview ($95.02m opening)
  • Doctor Strange – $9.4m preview ($???m opening)
  • Iron Man 2 – $7.5m preview ($128.12m opening)
  • Thor: The Dark World – $7.1m preview ($85.74m opening)
  • Ant-Man – $6.4m preview ($57.23m opening)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger – $4m preview ($65.06m opening)
  • Thor – $3.25m preview ($65.72m opening)

Understandably, projections have been understandably raised to around $80 million — which they’re considering to be fairly conservative. While the outlet went on to give its official projection at $85 million, they didn’t discount the fact that Doctor Strange could surprise everyone and beat the original Iron Man‘s opening weekend performance of $98.6 million. This would usurp the film as the highest grossing single-character introduction film, and is a huge deal, considering how relatively unknown Stephen Strange is to general audiences.

So what is it that’s making all the difference? For starters, the marketing has been consistent and solid. While audiences may be tiring of the “Marvel formula,” this film looks different enough to sell many of those skeptics. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the film has become something of a critical darling, and as of this writing, it’s sitting at a solid 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. This could potentially help to sway those who were lukewarm on the marketing, and should positive word of mouth continue to spread, this could lead to a theater run of Guardians of the Galaxy-like proportions.

Stay tuned here at LRM Online. We’ll definitely be keeping you updated on the progress of this film in the coming days.

Why do you think the film is performing so well? Is it the marketing, the star, the film’s quality, or all of the above that seem to be leading to a better-than-expected debut? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Box Office Mojo, Rotten Tomatoes