Multiverse of Madness Clings to Top Box Office Spot


A spectacular opening day performance last week all but guaranteed a steep Friday-to-Friday drop for Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The superhero sequel fell by 81% on its second Friday, after making $16.7 million. The fall should balance out to around 67%—which is par for the course for these movies—over the weekend, which is estimated to be in the $65 million range. The film opened to $187.4 million last weekend.

Doctor Strange 2 has made more than $550 million worldwide in just over a week, and will cross the $300 million mark domestically in the next few days. By comparison, the first Doctor Strange tapped out domestically with $232 million, and concluded its worldwide run with $677 million. Doctor Strange 2 is playing, as expected, like a follow-up to December’s record-shattering Spider-Man: No Way Home, which featured Benedict Cumberbatch in a pivotal supporting role.


It’s worth noting that No Way Home, which fell by 67.5% in its second weekend, was a Sony release. Doctor Strange 2’s solid box office performance should give a much-needed shot of adrenaline to Disney, whose Marvel Cinematic Universe titles all underperformed in pandemic-stricken 2021. But Doctor Strange 2 has already eclipsed the lifetime totals of each of those titles—Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals.

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Universal’s release of Dreamworks Animation’s kid-friendly heist film The Bad Guys held on to the number two spot with $1.65 million on its fourth Friday. The film is expected to finish the weekend with $6.6 million, for a running domestic total of $66 million.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 maintained its number three position with $1.03 million on its sixth Friday. Its estimated $4.25 million weekend should take its running domestic total to $175 million, which should have Paramount grinning from ear to ear. The studio has had a terrific 2022, and has already set into motion a sequel and a spinoff to Sonic the Hedgehog.

Coming in at the number four spot with $1.54 million was the weekend’s only major new wide release, the Stephen King adaptation Firestarter. The film is directed by Keith Thomas, who made his feature debut with The Vigil. But unlike that film, Firestarter has been panned by critics. Perhaps this is the reason why Universal gave it a day-and-date release on the in-house Peacock streaming service. Firestarter should finish its first weekend with an estimated $3.57 million.

Rounding out the top 5 was Everything Everywhere All at Once, easily the year’s biggest word-of-mouth hit. With $917,000 on its eighth Friday, the film edged out the far more expensive Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore as it clung on to the fifth spot for the third weekend in a row. The film should finish the weekend with an estimated $3.1 million, taking its running domestic total to nearly $47 million.

Expect Doctor Strange 2 to dominate the box office until next week’s Downton Abbey: A New Era. But its true competition will zoom in on Memorial Day weekend, in the form of Top Gun: Maverick.


Every Damned Spoiler for ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

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