Doctor Strange Wins Again

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It’s autumn, no question. We’re watching football. We’re raking leaves. Some of us may already be basting the Thanksgiving Turducken. But at the movies, it sure looks an awful lot like summer.

For the second straight weekend, a Marvel superhero movie—Doctor Strange—stood atop the box office wearing its nifty sentient cape, collecting an estimated $43 million within its folds. Never mind that cinematic superheroes typically bloom in May and flourish during summer’s woofiest dog days. (Sure, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came out in late March, but I think it could’ve used a little more underground growing time.)

No matter: This surgeon-turned-sorcerer hasn’t let a little autumn chill keep he or his movie down. Doctor Strange’s North American 10-day-total already stands at $153 million, pushing it to No. 12 among the year’s biggest grossing movies.

A full half of those top 12, by the way, are superhero flicks, making 2016 a banner year for  the mask-and-spandex crowd. Captain America: Civil War is 2016’s No. 2 movie so far, with $408.1 million in grosses. That’s followed by No. 5 Deadpool ($363.1 million), No. 7 Batman v Superman ($330.4 million), No. 8 Suicide Squad ($325.1 million), and No. 11 X-Men: Apocalypse ($155.4 million). Doctor Strange will likely push past X-Men by the time you finish reading this blog.

Strange wasn’t the only movie that performed, ahem, strangely well. Indeed, the box office had a very summer-like weekend, banking 56% more cash than it did during the same week last year.

Trolls was the best of the also-rans, losing just a quarter of its week-over-week audience to collect $35.1 million. Last year, that take would’ve been enough to win the weekend. But don’t feel bad for these ugly, animated things: With $94 million in total earnings, Trolls is tickling the $100 million blockbuster barrier with its long, garishly colored hair.

Arrival arrived at the box office party in third place, gathering up $24 million to stuff in its strangely spherical spaceships. Another newcomer, Almost Christmas, unwrapped $15.6 million for fourth place.

Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge finished fifth with $10.8 million. Meanwhile, audiences shut out Shut In, the weekend’s third major wide release. The Naomi Watt-helmed thriller earned just $3.7 million to finish seventh.

Final figures update: 1. Doctor Strange, $43 million; 2. Trolls, $35 million; 3. Arrival, $24.1 million; 4. Almost Christmas, $15.1 million; 5. Hacksaw Ridge, $10.6 million.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Posted by First Comment Guy


My Mom was making stuffing for our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and I was cleaning out my gutters this past weekend (something I always do in the fall), so yeah, it definitely feel like fall where I live.


My Dad and I went to see Doctor Strange on Saturday night, and we both enjoyed it immensely! I'd go as far to say that it's the best comic book movie of 2016! (I liked Batman v Superman and Civil War, just not as much as I'd like to. I also haven't seen Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad, so I can't say anything about them.)


I really feel like Plugged In was too harsh on their plug rating for Doctor Strange. 2.5 plugs out of 5? The same score of BvS? Really?! I've seen both movies, and I can definitely say that one is cleaner than the other.

Briana More than 1 year ago
I wish PluggedIn would review Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and CBS's new MacGyver.