Is Doctor Strange the new poster boy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The box office numbers suggest that may be the case. Doctor Strange has now passed Iron Man at the box office to become Marvel Studios’ highest-grossing solo hero debut movie of all time.
After just one month at the box office, Doctor Strange has earned $616 million worldwide. That passes the $585 million lifetime total of the original Iron Man, the Marvel Studios film that gave birth to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to being a milestone for Doctor Strange, that’s quite the measurement of just how far Marvel Studios has come and how much the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown over the past eight years.
Since we’re keeping score, Iron Man is now Marvel Studios’ second highest grossing single character debut movie. Last year’s Ant-Man claims second place on that list with $518 million. Thor, released in 2011, comes in third with a lifetime total of $449 million. Captain America: The First Avenger, released the same year, comes in fourth with $371 million. The Incredible Hulk rounds out the list with $263 million, though technically the character of the Hulk debuted on film in 2003’s Hulk, which made even less at $245 million. However, that film is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.
While Doctor Strange is the new high for Marvel Studios debuts, it is not the high mark for Marvel characters in general. Sony’s original Spider-Man, released in 2002, still holds that honor with a lifetime global box office total of $822 million. For more, check out ComicBook.com’s list of the highest grossing comic book movies ever.
Doctor Strange’s debut may have bested Iron Man’s, but Iron Man’s box office only grew with repeat appearances. Iron Man 2 grossed $624 million worldwide and Iron Man 3 managed a whopping $1.2 billion. Doctor Strange will likely have a chance to prove himself. After all, if Ant-Man can get a quickly greenlit sequel, Doctor Strange 2 seems like a safe bet.
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In Marvel's Doctor Strange, Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson, and written by Derrickson, Jon Spaihts, and C. Robert Cargill, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.