Marvel Studios has debuted a new image from "Doctor Strange" of Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme standing in front of the iconic Seal of Vishanti in his Sanctum Sanctorum.
The photo's arrival coincided with announcements that director Scott Derrickson's film will be released Oct. 25 in the United Kingdom and Ireland (originally targeted for Oct. 28), and Oct. 28 in Russia -- a week before it materializes in North American theaters.
The decision to roll out the film earlier in foreign markets follows a Marvel tradition that began in 2010 with "Iron Man 2." The U.S. release date for that movie was May 7, but seeing that many countries celebrate holidays at the end of April, the studio decided to capitalize on that window abroad and rolled out the "Iron Man" sequel earlier in some overseas territories. The numbers were good, and the practice stuck.
There's another reason for early release outside North America: buzz. By rolling out earlier in international markets, the studio has chance to make back a lot of the money invested in the film while also developing significant buzz, which makes U.S. fans more inclined to flock to theaters. Very clever, really.
Arriving Nov. 4 in North America, "Doctor Strange" also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.