Box Office Wrap Up: Dr. Strange and Trolls Go Global.
Doctor Strange and Trolls jump start November with massive totals.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange made big bucks, as did Trolls, but the bigger news is their fantastic world-wide earnings. Several films this year have been saved due to great box office takes around the world, but this weekend we saw two films that made bank here and abroad. For a late in the cycle origin story and a kids film based on a 30 year old fad toy, that’s pretty good news.
With October being such a weak link, Hollywood was no doubt eager to get back to breaking records. All three new releases made it to the top of the list for earnings, helping to create the best first week in November…ever. In fact, it’s not really close: with total earnings of 182 million, this box office is 20 million dollars higher than it’s closest competitor (which happens to be 2013, which had Thor 2 pushing the pile.)
First place went to Doctor Strange, which grossed 85 million dollars in the US after having cast a spell on the world to the tune of 240 million dollars – without figuring in US sales. Marvel/Disney could have skipped the home market altogether and still notched a spectacular opening. Compared to other Marvel origin stories, Strange stands strong: only Iron Man (2008) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) have higher opening weekends for their first outing.
Second place belonged to Fox’s toy-based offering, Trolls. After seeing how abysmally Max Steel fared last month at the box office, I’m sure retailers are thrilled to have a hit to move merchandise. With a pretty hefty budget of 125 million dollars, Trolls did a solid first week of 45 million dollars domestically, and a purple-hair raising overseas take of 104 million dollars. Not bad for a flick based on ugly, naked creatures that were only famous for sitting on middle schoolers’ pencils.
Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson’s World War 2 biopic starring Andrew Garfield, dragged itself into third place. The film made 15 million dollars against a 45 million dollar budget. That may be worrisome, but not unexpected when you consider the competition it saw this weekend. Warm critical reception should help it to stay relevant and see decent earnings through the holiday period.
Two other films made limited releases this week: Loving, a tale about interracial marriage in the segregated south that is based on a true story; and The Eagle Huntress, a documentary about a young Mongolian girl who broke with her culture’s gender restrictions to raise her own hunting falcon. Both films debuted in four locations to strong individual sales. Moonlight, the story of a young black man grappling with sexual identity in the inner city, expanded to 84 locations and just missed making the top ten earnings list this week.
1. Doctor Strange (85.0)
2. Trolls (46.5)
3. Hacksaw Ridge (15.1)
4. Boo! A Madea Halloween (7.7)
5. Inferno (6.1)
6. The Accountant (5.8)
7. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (5.4)
8. Ouija: Origin of Evil (3.8)
9. The Girl on the Train (2.6)
10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2.0)