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Doctor Strange becomes Marvel's fifth most successful UK opening

Doctor Strange

Story by Jack Foley

SUPERHERO movie Doctor Strange has shot to the top of the UK box office to become Marvel’s fifth most successful opening weekend to date.

The film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton, is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

Its UK debut of £5.49m at the weekend and £9.29m (including three days of previews) was enough to comfortably beat the debut of Ant-Man (which took £4.01m in July last year) and is also better than Guardians of the Galaxy, which took an initial £4.99m plus £1.37m in previews in 2014.

Doctor Strange is notable for taking the superhero genre into a cosmic realm of astral projection, time loops and alternate dimensions.

Elsewhere at the UK box office, last week’s number one, Trolls, fell to second place with a further £3.3m.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, The Girl On The Train and Bridget Jones’s Baby rounded off the top five.

The only other new entry in this week’s top 10 was the Indian romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which translates as This Heart is Complicated. The film, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, took £617,000 on its opening weekend to land at number seven.

There was more good news for Ken Loach’s critical darling, I, Daniel Blake, which saw an 18% increase in ticket sales from the previous weekend, for a 10-day total of £1.33m.

The film, which tackles the UK’s benefits system, has set a faster pace than any previous Ken Loach film in the UK. The Wind That Shakes the Barley – which so far remains Loach’s biggest UK hit – stood at £1.16m at this stage of its run.

The film has enjoyed a particularly robust showing in places such as Manchester HOME and Tyneside Cinema, which was aided by the film’s local setting.

And in other box office news, Bridget Jones’s Baby is now officially the biggest grossing film of 2016 at UK cinemas. Although it ended the weekend with £46.17m, just behind Disney’s live action revival of The Jungle Book (£46.19m), takings on Monday pushed Bridget to £46.27m.

Other top titles this year include Finding Dory (£42.6m), Deadpool (£37.9m) and Captain America: Civil War (£37.0m).

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