Doctor Strange works magic on North American box office

 Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).PHOTO: MARVEL

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Surgeon-turned-sorcerer Doctor Strange cast his spell on North American audiences, debuting at the top of the box office in the latest triumph for Marvel Studios, industry estimates showed Sunday (Nov 6).

The movie, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as world-famous neurosurgeon Stephen Strange - whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of use of his hands - raked in US$85 million (S$118 million), box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton star alongside Cumberbatch, as his character explores his mystical powers.

The 14th film in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe, Strange follows recent studio successes including Captain America: Civil War, which made more than US$1 billion worldwide, as well as other crowd pleasers such as the Thor, Iron Man and The Avengers franchises.

Debuting in second place was DreamWorks' animated Trolls, based on the classic plastic dolls known for their multi-colored hair. Featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, the film made US$45.6 million in its first weekend in theaters.

Third place went to Hacksaw Ridge, also in its debut weekend, which raked in US$14.8 million. The movie tells the true story of World War II army medic Desmond Doss, the first US conscientious objector,who went on to receive the Medal of Honor despite refusing to carry a weapon.

Boo! A Madea Halloween - the latest installment in Tyler Perry's Madea comedy franchise, fell to fourth place with US$7.8 million, down three spots from its former perch at the top of the box office.

And Inferno, the third installment of Sony's Da Vinci Code franchise, directed by Ron Howard, earned US$6.3 million in the second weekend since its release.

Rounding out the top 10 films were: The Accountant (US$6.0 million) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (US$5.6 million) Ouija: Origin of Evil (US$4.0 million) The Girl on the Train (US$2.8 million) "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" (US$2.1 million).