Marvel Studios and Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, grossed $185 million in its debut to land one of the biggest openings of all time domestically — and the second best of the pandemic era — after starting off with an enormous $90 million on Friday.
Director Sam Raimi’s movie landed the 11th biggest launch in history and the 7th biggest opening for any Marvel Cinematic title behind Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million), Black Panther ($202 million), The Avengers ($207.3 million), Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7 million), Spider-Man: No Way Home ($260.1 million) and Avengers: Endgame ($357.1 million), not adjusted for inflation.
And Doctor Strange 2 is already the second-biggest domestic release of 2022.
Overseas, the $200 million tentpole opened to an equally impressive $265 million for an early global total of $450 million.
The sequel’s performance is a huge victory as Hollywood and theater owners kick off the summer 2022 box office season. After more than two years of fits and starts due to COVID-19, studios are finally prepared to release a parade of delayed tentpoles.
Friday’s haul of $90 million — which included $36 million in Thursday previews — was the seventh biggest opening day of all time and gives the Marvel Cinematic Universe five of the top 10 opening days ever. It was also more than the entire opening weekends of 10 MCU titles, including the first Doctor Strange, which opened to $85.1 million in 2016, not adjusted for inflation.
Doctor Strange 2 is playing in 4,545 theaters, the widest location count of the pandemic era and the fifth-biggest of all time, another sign that the movie business is emerging from the pandemic. While overall attendance is still down compared to “normal” times, moviegoer confidence is at an all-time high.
Another draw: Imax and other cinema operators heavily promoted the fact that the first teaser trailer for James Cameron’s sequel Avatar: The Way of Water is premiering exclusively in theaters before Doctor Strange 2.
Raimi’s generally well-reviewed superhero pic earned a B+ CinemaScore in the U.S., and is being fueled by moviegoers under the age of 34 and males (59 percent). It did huge business in Imax and other large-format screens.
Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”—a thrilling ride through the Multiverse with Doctor Strange, his trusted friend Wong and Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.
Director : Sam Raimi
Cast : Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Xochitl Gomez
Release Date : May 6, 2022