Doctor Strange and his questionably effective book of spells commanded a weekend gross of $185 million in North American theaters, cementing Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe's box office dominance following a shakier, pandemic-plagued year for the series.
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" marks a return to form for Disney's MCU following COVID-era movies "Black Widow" ($80 million debuts + $60 million on Disney Plus), "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" ($75 million debuts), and "Eternals" ($71 million debuts). Due to the pandemic and other extenuating circumstances, these editions failed to match the box office performance of their franchise predecessors.
These opening weekend earnings are the eleventh highest in history. Given the rarity of reaching those heights at the movie office, "Doctor Strange 2" had the highest opening weekend of 2022 and the second-biggest debut in COVID-19 history. Before this weekend, "The Batman" had the highest opening weekend with $134 million. With $260 million, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is the pandemic's biggest opening weekend (and the second-highest ever).
Overseas, the picture grossed $265 million from 49 territories, bringing its total worldwide earnings to $450 million. Since it is unlikely that "Doctor Strange 2" will be released in China, Russia, or Ukraine, the picture will rely on repeat viewings from audiences worldwide to surpass the $1 billion milestones. Since COVID took hold, only "Spider-Man: No Way Home" has been able to top this level.
Domestically, the sequel to "Doctor Strange" surpassed its predecessor's total opening weekend earnings in a single day. "Doctor Strange 2" grossed $90 million on Friday, while "Doctor Strange" earned $85 million. Marvel and other huge franchise films tend to be front-loaded in ticket sales since fans want to be the first to watch the movie before spoilers impair the experience. Nonetheless, the sequel will quickly surpass the final box office total of the original "Doctor Strange," which grossed $232 million domestically and $677 million internationally throughout its theatrical run.
"Doctor Strange 2" is profiting as the sequel to "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which became a must-see cinematic event and made $1.89 billion globally. With Peter Parker's enticing exploits serving as a prologue and Disney's marketing machine firmly teasing some big surprise cameos, "Doctor Strange" debuted in rarified air, even for a Marvel film.
Imax, 3D, and other premium format screens also contributed to "Doctor Strange 2's" increased grosses. The film cost $200 million to create, excluding marketing costs, and Disney reports that 36 percent of all box office ticket sales were for premium formats. With $33 million from Imax alone, "Doctor Strange" is one of the firm's top 10 global opening weekends.
"By Marvel's own preeminent standards, this is another sensational Marvel opening," says David A. Gross, president of the film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. "'Doctor Strange' is expanding its audience with the release of a stronger sequel."
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" was directed by Sam Raimi, the creator of the original "Spider-Man" trilogy. The film begins when the titular neurosurgeon-turned-Avenger, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, performs a spell that forces him to go across the multiverse to confront a mysterious new foe and different versions of himself. The cast also features Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, a dimension-hopping youngster.
"Doctor Strange 2" inaugurates the summer blockbuster season. In the upcoming months, "Top Gun: Maverick" (May 27), "Jurassic World: Dominion" (June 10), and "Thor: Love and Thunder" (July 8) are expected to keep theaters packed. Several holdover releases rounded out box office lists as "The Multiverse of Madness" loomed large in theaters (and virtually filled every screen in primary circuits).
After two weeks at the top, Universal's animated heist comedy "The Bad Guys" fell to second place with $9.7 million from 3,839 theaters. This brings the film's domestic total to $57 million.
"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" earned $6.2 million from 3,358 North American theaters to finish in third place. After five weeks of release, the sequel to "Sonic" has grossed $169.9 million at the domestic box office. It is one of the few pandemic-era sequels to make more in theaters than its predecessor. The first "Sonic" film grossed $148 million in North America before COVID-19 forced multiplexes to close in March 2020.
"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" has slid to the No. 4 slot with $3.8 million from 3,051știiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștii The most recent installment in the "Harry Potter" prequel series is the Wizarding World film franchise's lowest-grossing installment. "The Secrets of Dumbledore" has grossed $86 million to date and may struggle to surpass $100 million domestically, a threshold that previous "Harry Potter"-related films reached within days.
"Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" by A24 surpassed "The Northman" by Focus Features for fifth place, with $3.3 million from 1,542 theaters compared to $2.7 million from 2,414 cinemas. Despite playing in far fewer theaters than "The Northman," "Everything Everywhere All At Once," starring Michelle Yeoh, continued its impressive run at the box office this weekend. In North America, "Everything Everywhere" has generated a remarkable $41 million since its release seven weeks ago. To date, "The Northman" has made $28 million.
IFC Films' "Happening," a drama about an abortion directed by Audrey Diwan, debuted in New York City and Los Angeles with $34,000 from four theaters. This is equivalent to $8,500 per location. The release of "Happening," set in France in 1963, coincides with an agitated moment, with the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Next week, IFC hopes to present the film to over 100 towns.
"IFC Films is committed to bringing 'Happening' to theaters across the United States at this crucial juncture," stated Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films. "We hope that people will seek out this film and that it will generate meaningful conversations about our future. We are pleased to continue our long legacy of sharing significant female-driven stories with audiences across the nation."știinștiinștiinștiinștiinștiiștiinștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștiiștii