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‘Doctor Strange’ Delivers Healthy Shot to Chinese Box Office

UPDATED: Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” appears to be delivering some much-needed medicine to the Chinese box office.

Enjoying a day-and-date release alongside its North American outing, the film opened with a healing $12.0 million on Friday, according to data from local tracking service Ent Group.

Data for Saturday points to the film delivering another strong shot of $17.3 million (RMB117 million) in its second day. That would put it on $30 million (RMB202 million) after two days on Middle Kingdom screens and including previews.

Those figures are puny compared to the $150 million opening weekend enjoyed by “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or the $93.6 million taken by “Captain America: Civil War.” But after the recent summer slowdown, the relentless breaking of records in China seems like a different era.

The film does not exactly have the same franchise pedigree in China as some of the other Marvel titles. But it does benefit from the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch, who is a big star in China thanks to his “Sherlock” role.

Still, in two days “Doctor Strange” has already overtaken “Inferno” ($18 million) and “Trolls,” two of the other three Hollywood films which are also currently on wide release in China. After 15 days in Chinese theaters “Mechanic: Resurrection” has a cumulative score of $48.3 million.

The Ent Group data shows “Doctor Strange” playing some 81,000 screenings on Friday, and earning a per screen average of $592 that was three times greater than second placed film, Chinese title “Hide and Seek.”

“Doctor Strange,” from Marvel and Disney, follows neurosurgeon Stephen Strange who injures his hands in a car accident, and in the process of healing, gains mystical powers. Scott Derrickson directs the film with a $165 million price tag. In addition to Cumberbatch as “Strange,” Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton also star.

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