‘Doctor Strange’ Dazzles With $86 Million International Debut

Marvel movie opening bests “Guardians of the Galaxy” by 37 percent

Disney-Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” opened this weekend to $86 million in 33 territories.

That’s a very strong showing for the film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, even by Marvel standards, as the international debut is 49 percent higher than “Ant-Man,” 37 percent more than “Guardians of the Galaxy” and 23 percent ahead of “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” according to Walt Disney Studios’ weekend estimates.

The comic book movie about a brilliant neurosurgeon who gains access to alternate dimensions opened in 213 IMAX locations in 32 countries for the biggest October opening for the large screen format, earning $7.8 million — which more than doubles the previous record of $3.2 million set by “Gravity.”

The film opens in an additional 787 IMAX screens globally next week, including North America and China, marking the widest IMAX release of all time and the first time a film will play in more than 1,000 locations.

Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.

The film performed strongest in Korea, earning $18.1 million, and marked the biggest opening weekend for a Marvel release. Its debut grosses in the country already exceed the lifetime earnings of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Man of Steel,” “Batman vs. Superman” and “Suicide Squad.”

It made $11.1 million in the U.K., $5.7 million in France and $4.9 million in Australia, followed by Germany, Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and more.

Directed by Scott Derrickson (“Sinister”), “Doctor Strange” also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong, Amy Landecker and Scott Adkins.