Unsurprisingly, the Master of the Mystic Arts has some tricks up his sleeve.
"Doctor Strange" opened Friday in North America with $32.6 million, which includes $9.4 million from Thursday previews, pushing projections for its opening-weekend box office to north of $80 million. That would exceed early estimates, which only a day before were pegged at somewhere between $60 million to $75 million.
The Scott Derrickson film also opened Friday in China, the world's second-largest movie market, where it raked in $12 million, with another $17.3 million expected today. "Doctor Strange" has already earned $132.9 million overseas.
At its current pace in the U.S. box office, The Hollywood Reporter notes the film will have the biggest opening for the first installment of a Marvel franchise outside of 2008's "Iron Man" and 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy." Captain America, Thor and Ant-Man can eat Doctor Strange's mystical dust.
The film tells the story of world-renowned neurosurgeon Stephen Strange who, after a career-ending car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.
“Doctor Strange” stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.