Dr. Strange and his questionably effective book of spells raised $ 185 million in North American cinemas for the weekend, confirming the dominance of Disney’s Marvel cinematic universe at the box office after a more volatile, pandemic year for the franchise.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” that bends the timeline represents a return to form for the Disney MCU after the “Black Widow” ($ 80 million debut, plus $ 60 million at Disney Plus) came out of the COVID era, Shang- Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings ”($ 75 million debut) and“ Eternals ”($ 71 million debut). Due to the pandemic and other mitigating circumstances, these installments failed to match their franchise predecessors in terms of ticket sales.
These box office receipts mark the 11th largest opening weekend in history. Given the anomaly of reaching those heights at the box office, “Doctor Strange 2” easily delivered the biggest opening weekend in 2022, as well as the second biggest debut at the time of COVID-19. Prior to this weekend, “The Batman” was the biggest starting weekend of the year with $ 134 million. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” still ranks as the biggest starting weekend of the pandemic (and the second largest ever) with $ 260 million.
Abroad, the film grossed $ 265 million in 49 territories, bringing the total global amount to $ 450 million. Since “Doctor Strange 2” is unlikely to be played in China, Russia or Ukraine, the film will rely on re-watching audiences around the world to move ticket sales beyond the desired billion-dollar mark. Only “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has managed to cross that threshold since COVID-19 took over.
At the local box office, the sequel to “Doctor Strange” surpassed the sum of the first weekend of its predecessor in one day. Multiverse of Madness grossed $ 90 million on Friday alone, while the 2016 Doctor Strange adventure grossed $ 85 million between Friday and Sunday. Marvel and other major films in the franchise usually have an advantage in terms of ticket sales because fans want to be among the first to watch the film – so that spoilers do not appear on the Internet and spoil the fun. Still, the sequel will quickly surpass the final box office of the original film “Doctor Strange,” which ended its theatrical release with $ 232 million domestically and $ 677 million globally.
“Doctor Strange 2” is used as a sequel to Sony’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” box office, which has become a must-see film event and grossed $ 1.89 billion worldwide. With the enticing adventures of Peter Parker as its predecessor, plus Disney’s marketing machine that teased some big surprise episodes, “Doctor Strange” landed in thin air – even for a Marvel movie. As the franchise now spans big and small screens, Disney Plus shows like “WandaVision” and “What If?” it also contributed to the excitement.
Imax, 3D, and other premium-format displays also increased earnings for Strange, which cost $ 200 million to produce, not including hefty marketing fees. According to Disney, 36% of total ticket sales at the box office come from the premium format. With $ 33 million from Imax alone, Doctor Strange ranks among the company’s top 10 open weekends in the world.
“This is another sensational Marvel opening, by Marvel’s own dominant standard,” says David A. Gross, who runs the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Doctor Strange increases its audience with a stronger follow-up release.”
Raimi himself, the creator of the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, directed “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”. The film begins as the avenging neurosurgeon of the same name, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, casts a dangerous spell that forces him to travel to a multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary and alternative versions of himself. In addition to Cumberbatch, the cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karla Morda, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong as Wong and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, a teenager who can travel between dimensions.
“Doctor Strange 2” kicks off the summer season of blockbusters. In the coming months, “Top Gun: Maverick” (May 27), “Jurassic World Dominion” (June 10) and “Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8) should make theaters full of pedestrian traffic.
With “Multiverse of Madness” looming in a large number of cinemas (and takes up almost every screen in major circles), several titles rounded out the box office charts.
After two weeks in first place, Universal’s animated comedy about the robbery “The Bad Guys” dropped to second place with $ 9.7 million from 3,839 seats. These refunds bring the film’s domestic amount to $ 57 million.
Paramount’s family “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” took third place with $ 6.2 million from 3,358 North American theaters. After five weeks on the big screen, the sequel to “Sonic” grossed $ 169.9 million at the box office. It is one of the few sequels from the pandemic era that is earning more in cinemas than its predecessor. Sonic’s first silver-screen adventure grossed $ 148 million in North America before COVID-19 forced multiplexes to close in March 2020.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” dropped to 4th place with $ 3.8 million from 3,051 screens. The latest chapter in the “Harry Potter” prequel series is ranked as the lowest-grossing in the major film franchise Wizarding World. “The Secrets of Dumbledore” has generated $ 86 million so far and may be hard to beat $ 100 million in the domestic market, a measure that previous Harry Potter films have passed in a few days.
A24 “Everything Everywhere All at Once” beat “The Northman” Focus Features for fifth place, as the former brought in $ 3.3 million from 1,542 theaters and the latter $ 2.7 million from 2,413 theaters. The turnout this weekend continues with the big box office for “All Everywhere at Once,” a genre-exciting film starring Michelle Yeoh, despite being played in far fewer theaters than “The Northman.” Since opening in theaters seven weeks ago, “Everything Everywhere” has grossed an impressive $ 41 million in North America. “The Northman” has earned $ 28 million to date.
At special box offices, IFC Films opened Audrey Diwan’s abortion drama “Happening” in theaters in New York and Los Angeles, bringing in $ 34,000 in four locations. That means $ 8,500 per location. The “Happening”, which takes place in France in 1963, arrives on the big screen at a politically charged moment, and it seems that the Supreme Court is preparing to annul Roe v. Wade. The IFC plans to bring the film to more than 100 cities across the country next week.
“IFC Films is committed to showing Happening on screens across America at this crucial time,” said Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films. “We hope that the audience will look for this film and that it will encourage important conversations about our future. We are proud to continue our long tradition of sharing important women’s stories with audiences across the country. ”