The Sorcerer Supreme weaved some box office magic this weekend as "Doctor Strange" opened to a sterling $86 million overseas.
The latest Marvel adventure doesn't hit the U.S. until next week, but it's already proving to be a hit with foreign crowds. Disney, Marvel's parent company, said that "Doctor Strange's" opening is nearly 50 percent ahead of "Ant-Man," 37 percent ahead of "Guardians of the Galaxy," and 23 percent ahead of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." That's a strong result given that Doctor Strange isn't as widely known as other comic-book characters.
"Doctor Strange" did particularly well in Imax screenings, earning $7.8 million to become the company's highest-grossing October launch on an international basis.
The film opened in 33 territories, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Korea, and Hong Kong. It was the top-grossing movie in nearly every market in which it opened.
In addition to the United States, the film still has several major territories where it will open in the coming days, including China, Brazil, Japan, and Russia.
"Doctor Strange" stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character, a brilliant surgeon who turns to mysticism. It co-stars Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams, and was directed by Scott Derrickson ("Sinister").
Reviews have been strong, with critics praising the performances and Derrickson's blend of humor and fantasy.
In his review for Variety, Peter Debruge wrote that the film admirably ducked superhero conventions and praised it as "Marvel's most satisfying entry since 'Spider-Man 2.'"