Will Doctor Strange weave a spell at the box office?

This weekend will be a big one at the box office, as the brain trust at Marvel Studios look to launch a brand new franchise with a classic character. Will they deliver the goods again? Here’s our prediction:

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Doctor Strange is yet another new piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe about to be carved out. Directed by horror regular Scott Derrickson, the film follows Stephen Strange, a noticed surgeon who has lost the use of his hands, into the supernatural, spiritual side of the MCU. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Strange and, while he looks the part, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how much the actor is able to claim ownership on the character a la Chris Evans or Robert Downey Jr. As of this writing, the film is sitting at 90% fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes, which is simply outstanding. How will this translate at the box office this fall? Methinks fairly solidly, though not spectacularly. Look for a first place showing for Doctor Strange with $101 million.

Also opening this weekend are the animated DreamWorks family film Trolls and the Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge, a movie that has been getting absolutely stunning reviews. While Trolls has a guaranteed audience that will be coming out, it will certainly be interesting to see if the good reviews for Hacksaw Ridge will entice filmgoers who are sceptical or outright unforgiving of Gibson into theatres. Look for Trolls to hit second place with $41 million, with Hacksaw Ridge placing third with $15 million.

As for the rest of the top five, look for Boo! A Madea Halloween to drop to fourth place with $8 million, while Jack Reacher: Never Look Back will be in fifth place with $5.5 million.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) Doctor Strange – $101 million
2) Trolls – $41 million
3) Hacksaw Ridge – $15 million
4) Boo! A Madea Halloween – $7 million
5) Jack Reacher: Never Look Back – $5.5 million

Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns out!

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