Image Source: Toms Guide
Doctor Strange and his dubious book of spells drew a blockbuster $185 million in North American theaters over the weekend, cementing Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe’s box office dominance following a shakier, pandemic-plagued year for the enormous series.
This is the 11th biggest opening weekend in box office history. Given the rarity of hitting those heights, “Doctor Strange 2” easily had the biggest opening weekend of 2022 and the second-highest debut in COVID-19 history. Prior to this weekend, “The Batman” had the largest opening weekend of the year, grossing $134 million. With $260 million, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the pandemic’s biggest opening weekend (and the second-highest ever).
The film grossed $265 million in 49 countries, bringing the worldwide total to $450 million. Because “Doctor Strange 2” is unlikely to be released in China, Russia, or Ukraine, it will rely on repeat viewings from audiences all across the world to surpass the $1 billion milestone. Since COVID took hold, only “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has been able to cross that threshold.
Despite being a sequel, the opening weekend of Multiverse of Madness was more than double that of the original Doctor Strange, which grossed an estimated $85 million in its first weekend in 2016, making it the highest opening weekend of 2022 so far.
The “Doctor Strange” sequel surpassed its predecessor’s opening weekend total in a single day at the domestic box office. “Multiverse of Madness” took in $90 million on Friday alone, while “Doctor Strange” took in $85 million over the weekend. In terms of ticket sales, Marvel and other huge franchise films are typically front-loaded because fans want to be among the first to watch the film – lest spoilers leak online and ruin the experience. Nonetheless, the sequel will easily outperform the original “Doctor Strange,” which grossed $232 million domestically and $677 million worldwide at the box office.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was directed by Sam Raimi, the man behind the original “Spider-Man” trilogy. The film begins with Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, a neurosurgeon-turned-Avenger, casting a deadly spell that requires him to go across the universe to battle a mystery new opponent and alternate versions of himself. 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 teen who can travel between realities, join Cumberbatch in the cast.
“Doctor Strange 2” is a strong start to the summer blockbuster season. “Top Gun: Maverick” (May 27), “Jurassic World Dominion” (June 10), and “Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8) are expected to keep theaters busy in the coming months.
Several holdover releases rounded out box office lists as “Multiverse of Madness” loomed large in cinemas (and took up practically every single screen in major circuits).
Critics and observers in the film business predicted a record-breaking opening weekend for Marvel’s cinematic effort “Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness,” and Marvel is on track to rewrite cinematic history in the wake of the film’s opening weekend box office.