Who is the master of the dark arts with hair as wispy as mountain fog and a cape as glamorous as the outfits from Ru Paul's Drag Race? No, not David Bowie in Labyrinth, I'm talking about #DoctorStrange of course.
#BenedictCumberbatch plays the world-renowned surgeon, Steven Strange, who suffers a near-fatal accident that deprives him of his unique, surgical dexterity and his career. After meeting the mysterious Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), Strange realizes he is destined for bigger things and begins discovering the surreal powers that allow him to bend time and space.
Check out the mind-bending trailer below:
Strange sashayed his way onto screens in his velvet cape last weekend and managed to rake in a whopping $86 million in its opening. #Marvel's success on the blockbuster stage has become so predictable that this number almost seems puny. We take a look at what Doctor Strange's initial earnings mean for the franchise and Marvel as a whole.
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If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It
Marvel have proven to be the horse to bet on when it comes to the box office with releases that seemed minor, like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, surprising everyone by bringing home the bacon and winning over the casual movie-goer.
Marvel have not strayed far from the formula for Doctor Strange, sticking to a pedantically faithful retelling of Strange's origin story followed by the tutorial of special powers in the second act. Finally, the story is of course capped off with the introduction of a nemesis. The tried-and-tested formula has been good to Marvel ever since the first #SpiderMan film back in 2002 and it looks like they have no intention of messing with the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Big In Korea
The most interesting number in Doctor Strange's opening weekend is the $18.1 million it made in South Korea alone. The highest earnings out of all the 33 markets Strange was released in, it seems the reality-bending hero struck a chord with the Asian audience in particular. More and more, we're seeing the Asian market cushioning the blow for underwhelming returns in the domestic market.
Looking at Warcraft, the idea of working on a sequel was totally out of the question due to the horrendous U.S release. However, the fantasy film performed exceedingly well in China. The numbers were so good there was talk of producing Warcraft 2 for a China-only release. With such a big welcome in Korea, chances are Doctor Strange 2 may also be leaning more on the Asian market as well.
Does Doctor Strange Have A Future?
The big question on everyone's lips is whether or not this dashing superhero has the appeal to keep people coming back. Cumberbatch is set to reappear as Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok, the next Avengers film and a Strange sequel of course. How much Strange can audiences take?
Heroes like Thor, Iron Man and Spiderman are much easier to market and brand because all kids want to dress up like them, eat candy with their faces on it and watch the characters again and again. Judging by the recent reviews, it doesn't seem like Strange has the same all-round appeal but only time will tell how big this character will become.