Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness racked up $36 million from previews that began at 3 p.m. Thursday. That’s the second-best preview during the pandemic after Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s $50M back in December. Overall, it’s the eighth-largest preview performance ever, ranking behind Avengers: Infinity War‘s $39M in 2018.
The Sam Raimi-directed movie debuts in 4,534 theaters, making it the seventh-widest opening footprint ever. As is typical with any Marvel movie, the question is how frontloaded Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is. Industry expectations are at least $160M. Any way you cut it, that’s the biggest opening for Disney during the pandemic, besting Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($75.3M), and for exhibition it’s a great sign that the summer box office is off to a fantastic start.
Critics aren’t as wowed by this sequel as they were with the first one, with 77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes compared with 89% Certified fresh on the 2016 edition. Doctor Strange 2 is also significantly below the last Marvel movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, which garnered 93% certified fresh. That said, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron looks like a good comp here. That movie was 76% certified fresh with critics, and made $27.6M in previews (granted, those started at 7 p.m.). Those previews repped 33% of Ultron‘s first-day box office of $84.4M, which turned into a $191.2M opening. That’s one possible way Doctor Strange 2 could weave his magic.
Doctor Strange 2 also notched the fifth-highest Thursday night preview ever for Imax with $4.2M in ticket sales from 410 auditoriums.
On Tuesday, Disney had measured $60M in ticket presales for Doctor Strange 2, behind No Way Home‘s $120M.
Overseas for Doctor Strange 2 through the first two days stands at $85.7M, which is 12% behind No Way Home, +172% ahead of Doctor Strange and +197% ahead of The Batman on a like-for-like basis. Like Batman, Doctor Strange 2 doesn’t have China our Russia in its offshore bookings.
‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ Rings Up $86M Through Two Days Overseas – International Box Office
Among regular titles in release, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Bad Guys ends its second week with $19.5M and a running total of $47.8M; on Thursday it did an estimated $555K. A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once did $494K yesterday, off 30%, sending its total through six weeks to $38.2M. Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 grossed $410K in its fourth Thursday, putting its running total at $163.7M. Focus Features’ second Thursday for The Northman was $400K, sending its total to $25.2M. Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts 3 was fifth yesterday with an estimated $380K, -38%, and a $82M running cume through three weeks.