Perhaps offering a sign of an impressive weekend to come, Marvel's "Doctor Strange" raked in $9.4 million Thursday night That places the Sorcerer Supreme ahead of Fox's "X-Men: Apocalypse" ($8.2 million), and Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" ($7.1 million) and "Ant-Man" ($6.4 million).
As Deadline notes, "Doctor Strange" possesses at least one significant advantage over "Apocalypse": good early buzz, and a 90 percent certified fresh score from Rotten Tomatoes. Pre-release projections place the Marvel Studios film on a course for a domestic opening weekend somewhere between $60 million and $75 million.
To date, "Doctor Strange" has earned $133 million in the international box office, led by South Korea ($22.2 million), the United Kingdom ($15 million), France ($8.6 million), Russia ($8.5 million) and Germany ($7.5 million). It opens today in China, the world's second-largest film market.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, 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.
Opening today nationwide, "Doctor Strange" stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.