Early tracking has arrived for Marvel Studios’ second film of 2016. While the studio had massive success earlier this year with Captain America: Civil War, which opened to a stunning $179 million and grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide, they’re venturing into new territory in November with the release of Doctor Strange. The film has been a long time coming for Marvel, with president Kevin Feige teasing a film adaptation of the comics character years ago, but it finally came together with director Scott Derrickson (Exorcism of Emily Rose) assembling an A-list cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch, and now early box office tracking numbers are in for the new superhero film.
Per Deadline, early tracking has Doctor Strange hitting an opening weekend box office in the range of $55 million to $75 million, although anticipation is expected to grow as the film approaches its November 23rd release date. The film is a brand new entry in the Marvel universe, not a sequel, and it will for the very first time introduce alternate dimensions to the MCU canon. Trailers have focused on the film’s eye-popping visuals, with a stellar cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen serving as a bonus. But this is still an unknown quantity, hence the box office numbers on the lower end of the scale in relation to the Marvel output thus far.
Indeed, the last “new” Marvel movie was last summer’s Ant-Man, which bowed to a so-so $57 million before going on to amass a swell $519.4 million worldwide. Doctor Strange will be the last introduction of a new MCU superhero largely unknown to the general public until 2018’s Black Panther, as the film will be followed by the sequel Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 in May 2017, the reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming in July 2017, and the sequel Thor: Ragnarok in November 2017.
Tracking as of late has been fairly hit or miss, so it’s certainly possible that Doctor Strange debuts to well above $75 million, although it faces stiff competition on the Thanksgiving weekend in the form of Disney’s animated feature Moana. Indeed, Deadpool was tracking for a mid-range opening before scoring a spectacular $132.4 million on opening weekend, and as we well known Marvel Studios films tend to have long legs.
We’ll know more as the release date approaches, but for now you can take a look at how the previous opening weekends for Marvel movies stacked up in the chart below.