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Doctor Strange to top box office in new predictions

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Marvel; DreamWorks Animation; Mark Rogers

After dominating foreign territories across its mega-successful debut weekend, Marvel’s Doctor Strange hits North American theaters as the likely domestic box office champion, facing solid competition from Fox’s animated Trolls, which features the voices of superstars Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, and Gwen Stefani.

Nothing seems poised to threaten Benedict Cumberbatch and co.’s impending reign at No. 1 (fellow wide opener Hacksaw Ridge will gross a fraction of the total haul Doctor Strange is eyeing), though Marvel and Disney are looking at another massive global success with Doctor Strange, one that will see Disney’s record-setting year (the Mouse topped its own multi-billion-dollar record on Tuesday) getting better and better as the studio gears up for two more potentially titanic mainstream releases — Moana on Nov. 23 and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Dec. 16 — later this year. 

Read on to see how much Doctor Strange could make across its Nov. 4-6 opening weekend. 

1. Doctor Strange – $85 million 

Fans have been waiting over 50 years for Doctor Strange to hit the big screen, and they’re expected to flock to theaters to see the Sorcerer Supreme’s first major appearance in a studio film. The $165 million production has already grossed well over $122 million from foreign territories, and will undoubtedly boost Disney’s record-breaking 2016 box office cumulative well past the $6 billion mark by Sunday’s end. As far as comic book adaptations go, Doctor Strange is outselling both Ant-Man ($57.2 million) and the first Thor ($65.7 million) film, in terms of Fandango presales, meaning a number in the $70-90 million range is likely, though numbers that high are notoriously difficult to predict. 

2. Trolls – $50 million 

According to Fandango presales, Fox’s star-studded animated romp Trolls, which hits 4,058 locations this Friday, is on-pace to debut in the same range as fellow animated titles like Home and Big Hero 6. With a hefty marketing campaign that included music (Justin Timberlake’s No. 1-charting “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” was released in May as the lead single from the film’s soundtrack) and a heavy push on television, the $125 million Trolls could end up pushing near the high end of expectations, however, as the film has pre-established brand familiarity (it’s adapted from the popular line of dolls) and will premiere as the most prominent animated family film in wide release (Warner Bros.’ Storks is entering its seventh week in theaters).

3. Hacksaw Ridge – $10 million 

Mel Gibson returns to the director’s chair nearly 10 years after the release of his last behind-the-camera effort, 2006’s Apocalypto. Though his films have been met with critical acclaim, his only film that can be considered a runaway box office success is 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, which grossed more than $611 million worldwide. Hacksaw Ridge, which stars Andrew Garfield in a tale revolving around Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who became the first conscientious objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his military service, enters approximately 2,800 theaters this weekend, from which it is expected to gross around $9-12 million, though that number could climb higher as the controversial actor-director’s latest feature continues to earn positive reviews from movie critics.

4. – Inferno – $7.3 million 

After opening to a disappointing $14.9 million last weekend, Tom Hanks’ Inferno will take a tumble in the 50-60 percent range across its second frame as three new wide releases crowd its territory. The film is already a box office winner overseas, though, as its worldwide total stands at $150 million — double what the film cost to make. 

5. – Boo! A Madea Halloween – $7.2 million 

With the coming and going of the film’s namesake holiday, Boo! heads for deep dive across its third weekend outing. Perry’s films typically register sharp second-weekend drops in the 50-60 percent range, but Boo! escaped the curse thanks to its Halloween-specific appeal, notching the softest second weekend drop in Perry’s filmography. As the film is no longer a timely must-see, audiences will head elsewhere. Look for A Madea Halloween to make around $6-8 million this weekend. 

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