It’s been a rough week and the matter of how you cut it does not change the fact that things seem…different. In times like this, I’ve always fled immediately to the movie theater, to see anything at all. I remember, incredibly clearly, finding a theater that still had The Incredibles playing in 2004 when President George W. Bush won his second term. And so, this week, I returned to Doctor Strange, Scott Derrickson‘s exquisite and pleasingly trippy yet limited Marvel film. And it doesn’t look like I was alone yesterday when I bought my second ticket to Derrickson’s phantasmagorical journey.
Indeed, Variety reports that Doctor Strange came in with $14.9 million on Friday, which puts it in very strong likelihood of taking the led in the box office for the entire weekend. This is not even remotely surprising. Doctor Strange had some of the very best reviews that Marvel’s cinematic universe has ever seen, and as a piece of filmmaking, it’s easily the most visually audacious and inventive work that MCU has put out. Honestly, Ant-Man is it’s only strong competition in this realm of popular storytelling.
Trolls, DreamWorks Animation’s latest trifle, also looks to be returning for a healthy portion of the box office, grabbing $12.2 million on Friday and looking at $34 million for the entire weekend. Beyond that, however, are the new entries, leading with Denis Villeneuve‘s overvalued yet nevertheless stunning Arrival, which did fantastic numbers, totally with $9.3 million yesterday, which far outweighs what people expected it to bring in for Paramount. Similarly, Almost Christmas is beating expectations with a strong $5.9 million, looking to place the family-centric holiday comedy in the fourth spot.
The fifth spot is unknown at this point but my belief would be that either Ang Lee‘s undervalued Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk or Mel Gibson‘s brutal, compromised Hacksaw Ridge will arrive in that spot. Both movies deal specifically with veterans, though in very different ways, which could give them a kick for Veteran’s Day weekend. We’ll have to wait for tomorrow to see exactly what the full haul is for either, though my gut instinct is the more classical of the two, Hacksaw Ridge, will take home the spot if Naomi Watts-led supernatural thriller Shut In can be held off. That being said, as this week has taught us, some predictions are simply that: predictions.