"Doctor Strange" arrives in North American theaters Friday, and it's already primed to be another successful opening weekend for Marvel Studios. Variety has director Scott Derrickson's film targeted for a $70 million opening, which is larger than the openings for "Ant-Man" ($57.2 million), "Thor" ($65.7 million), and "Captain America: The First Avenger" ($65 million). This would be a mighty feat considering Captain America and Thor were more commonly known heroes when their first films arrived in 2011, especially compared to the Sorcerer Supreme.
Shawn Robbins, senior analyst at BoxOffice.com, spoke about Marvel's propensity to elevate B and C-list superheroes: "Marvel’s bread and butter has become turning lesser-known characters into tier-one characters. I’m having a hard time finding any negative signs for this one."
With a main character that deals in the mystical arts, theaters are loading up with 3D and IMAX offerings. Customers will be able to view the film in 3,530 3D locations, 379 IMAX, and 516 premium large format venues.
"Doctor Strange" is already a success overseas, where it's raked in over $86 million in its international debut in 33 markets, surpassing initial box office projections.
Directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton, "Doctor Strange" opens in North America on Friday.