Monday Mixer: The 'Doctor' is in

Posted Monday, November 7, 2016 at 11:09 AM Central

by John Couture

What a Strange weekend it was and it had nothing to do with the election that is set to take place this week. I've been pretty bullish on Marvel films over the years, but I've also cautioned that they are setting themselves up for a great fall.

I mean, it's only logical, right? What goes up, must come down and all that.

As Marvel moves away from core comic book heroes and starts to get into the fringe characters, it just makes sense that the excitement will abate, but so far, that isn't the case. Likewise, the talent behind the cameras move on and what I thought was once mostly propped up by Joss Whedon, the franchise has proven itself over and over again.

And yet, I'm still waiting for the shoe to fall. I thought that Guardians of the Galaxy would be that falling shoe and I was convinced that this week's Doctor Strange would be it, but both films proved me wrong.

So, will Marvel ever falter? It is inevitable, no? Well, let's look at this weekend's performance and see if we can extrapolate any answers.

Box Office 411

As we hinted above, Doctor Strange took home an impressive $85 million during its opening weekend. On the one hand, it's the 10th (out of 14) highest Marvel openings of all time, but on the other it was significantly better than Ant-Man, which is the only film you could argue was not a massive success.

Of course, how do you argue that a film that made $180 million isn't successful? And yet, that's the world that Marvel has created. They have set the bar quite high and you have to figure that at some point Marvel will stumble, but so far, everything they touch turns to gold.

As it stands, Doctor Strange is enjoying great reviews and audience reactions which should translate into some long legs during the holiday. I could definitely see Doctor Strange bringing in $225 million before the new year. Of course, they will have to get their business done quickly because all bets are off when Star Wars opens next month.

For the first time in many weeks, we actually have something more interesting to talk about than just one big film. This week saw three new films dominate the box office and proved that there is room for a family film up against Marvel's biggest films.

Trolls opened in second place with a very respectable $45.6 million in second place. For a film that is as original as Hollywood gets these days, the opening was rather impressive. Sure, the film is based on the wacky hair characters that were popular many years ago. Are they still a thing? Or were they before this film came out?

I know that I was blown away last week by their placement at Target, so it's obvious that Fox is putting all of their eggs into this basket for them. So far, it looks like that gamble is paying off. With their strong opening, I could see them finishing up with a nice $175 million. The interesting thing here is how Disney's Moana will cut into its business when it opens in a few weeks.

If the past is any indication, Disney will roll over all competitors, so Trolls better get as much money in its coffers now before it's too late.

The other new wide release this week was Hacksaw Ridge. For a film with relative little fanfare, it grabbed an impressive $15 million in its opening stanza. The film is based on a true story about medic in World War II and is directed by Mel Gibson.

As we've covered on the site many times over the last few years, Mel Gibson has been desperate to find his way back to the pinnacle of Hollywood and this film might help him get there. He has shown great proficiency behind the camera over the years, but the public has not been as accepting when he's been in front of camera recently.

I'm not sure if having a relevant Mel Gibson is a good or bad thing, but Hollywood seemingly needs all of its heavy hitters, so that's something. Hacksaw Ridge looks to be on pace to earn a nice $60 million which I'm sure Lionsgate would be extremely happy with.

Quick Hitters

  • I admit it. Sometimes I miss things. Like this little compilation clip from late last year. It is a celebration of 120 years of films in 120 seconds. I think they do a good job picking a nice sampling of films over the years. They don't simply pick one movie for each year, but try and pick the most interesting films from a bunch of criteria.

    You can check out their explanation and get a full list of films featured here.

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