Box Office: Doctor Strange Predictions! – Marvelous Monday #54

Marvelous Monday Outline

Firstly, I need to prepare you for a pretty different ‘look’ for Marvelous Monday. It’s my longest running opinion-piece series. I always try to change or tweak the series a little bit, and now I’ve decided to really copy some of what I’ve done with Testing Television.

In every post, I’ll mention the most important pieces of news in a section called Marvelous Bugle, named after the Daily Bugle, of course. And the other section of Marvelous Monday will now be called Opinion, and I’ll give my thoughts there on the topic I’ve chosen for that month.

This month my focus is on what we should expect Doctor Strange to make at the box office, but Marvelous Bugle will be all about what was announced at San Diego Comic Con 2016!

Marvelous Bugle

  • New Marvel Studios Logo!: This isn’t really a big deal, but I thought it was noteworthy. Personally, I prefer the original Marvel Studios logo, but I really like the new one too. I think they actually handed out hats with the new logo at their Hall H panel, which I think is pretty neat.
  • Black Panther: So, they couldn’t really reveal all that much at their panel, and they definitely couldn’t show any footage (seeing as they apparently don’t start shooting until January 2017). But there were some interesting things revealed. Ryan Coogler and the cast walked out on stage: Lupita Nyongo’o, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and, the new addition, Danai Gurira! We learned who they were playing too, and the most interesting character reveal was that Michael B. Jordan is playing Erik Killmonger!
  • Thor: Ragnarok: I was surprised to hear how much we got from the Ragnarok-part of the panel. The audience was shown a special sneak peek at the film, and they revealed a really cool new logo, which doesn’t look like the original logo, which was very grim.
  • Doctor Strange: So, the cast went out on stage and talked about the characters. They showed a clip of the film to the audience, which, apparently, showed Stephen Strange’s first meeting with the Ancient One. For the rest of us, they released a new trailer! I think it’s much better than the first official trailer.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: I don’t think they released a new logo for this film, but they did show a trailer to the audience. It supposedly had a real John Hughes-feel to it. Here’s some official concept art for the film.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: They showed some exclusive footage to the audience, revealed the new logo, had some ravagers on stage, Michael Rooker was in-costume as Yondu, and they announced that, apparently, Guardians is getting an official theme park ride in 2017.
  • Captain Marvel: Not a lot to get to here. They revealed the new logo, and… Brie Larson is Captain Marvel! I’m so happy about this!
  • Marvel-Netflix: We got an awesome trailer for Luke Cage! We also got a teaser for Iron Fist. I’m excited for that show, but I didn’t love the Iron Fist teaser. We got confirmation of a third season for Daredevil and a second season for Jessica Jones to premiere in 2018, I believe. And, finally, they released a logo-reveal ‘teaser’ for The Defenders, which was probably my favorite thing. I mean, it had a Nirvana-song.

Opinion Marvelous Monday

  • Doctor Strange: Box Office Prediction Special

Experts are estimating that DC Films and Warner Bros.’s Suicide Squad opened to $135 million this weekend. That is more than Guardians of the Galaxy made during its opening weekend, and way more than Ant-Man made in its opening weekend. Heck, it even made more money than Man of Steel made in its opening weekend. That’s a good sign, right? Doctor Strange will be a huge box office success now, right? Hold your horses, let’s talk about this for a little bit.

Suicide Squad got a really bad Rotten Tomatoes score, but still made a lot of money. That’s because of the recognizable characters and actors, but if we’re being honest this weekend was more about the excellent marketing campaign. Doctor Strange does have Cumberbatch who, obviously, has a pretty big fanbase – but the general public knows nothing about the main character or, really, any of the major characters here. It isn’t as easy to explain as Suicide Squad is either.

In the United States, it opens against Hacksaw Ridge and Trolls, and I wouldn’t even be shocked if Doctor Strange had a tough time going up against Trolls if that film gets good reviews, which is to say that I think Trolls is going to make a lot of money. But before I make my prediction, let’s take a quick look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s opening weekends.

Marvel Cinematic Universe – Opening Weekends Thus Far

  1. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) – $207m
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – $191m
  3. Captain America: Civil War (2016) – $179m
  4. Iron Man 3 (2013) – $174m
  5. Iron Man 2 (2010) – $128m
  6. Iron Man (2008) – $98m
  7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – $95m
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – $94m
  9. Thor: The Dark World (2013) – $85m
  10. Thor (2011) – $65m
  11. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – $65m
  12. Ant-Man (2015) – $57m
  13. The Incredible Hulk (2008) – $55m

Do you see what I’m seeing? Every film in the top six stars Robert Downey, Jr.. In fact, If you take away the Avengers, Iron Man, and Captain America-films, not a single Marvel Cinematic Universe film has opened to $100 million. I feel like I need to remind everyone what was said when Ant-Man ‘only’ opened to $57 million. People said it was a bad opening weekend, and, while it wasn’t a great opening weekend, you have to remember that nobody knew who Ant-Man was.

This might happen again. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doctor Strange ‘only’ opened to something like $65m, and everyone suddenly called it a failure. So temper your box office expectations. But if I have to make a prediction about the film’s opening weekend, then right now I’m gonna go for… $85 million. I’m sure I’ll talk about it more on Box Office Predictions in the coming months.

– Jeffrey Rex

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