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Doctor Strange 2 Suffers One Of The Worst Drops In MCU History (Box Office)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen was released in cinemas around the world. Audiences flooded theaters last weekend, with the film grossing $187.4 million domestically and $265 million internationally.

The buzz surrounding the Sorcerer Supreme sequel was strong, especially after the resounding success (monetary and critical) of Spider-Man: No Coming Home. Add to that director Sam Raimi’s return to the comic book movies and the endless list of possible cameos, and Multiverse of Madness became the 11th highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.

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However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine for Marvel’s witty wizard. The Direct’s review said “…the simplistic nature of the plot makes it goofy at times…” and “The lack of deep diving will leave some disappointed…” Doctor Strange 2 currently sits at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes (not certified fresh) and has a CinemaScore of B+.

The lack of overwhelmingly positive word of mouth after a white-hot opening is a recipe for a disappointing second weekend.

Doctor Strange suffers a historic drop at the box office

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Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness grossed $16.7 million on Friday, down 81% from the $90.7 million earned domestically on its opening day. This is the second worst second Friday drop for an MCU movie. Screenings dropping the movie around 65%-69% that second weekend, grossing $60-65 million.

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Back in December Spider-Man: No Coming Home suffered an incredibly steep drop on its second Friday, 83.9%, but that was during Christmas Eve. That Friday drop didn’t seem to matter much, as Tom Holland’s third Spidey film is the third highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office ($804.6 million).

More comparable Second Friday declines can be seen below:

Does the Multiverse of Madness have legs?

Current projections have Multiverse of Madness totaling its domestic run between $380 million and $405 million. A wide range. Let’s reduce that.

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Captain America: Civil War was released on May 6, 2016. Chris Evans’ third Captain America film made $179.1 million in its opening weekend. Exactly six years later, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was released on May 6 and grossed $187.9 million.

Three weeks later, X-Men: Apocalypse was released on May 27. In three weeks, Top Gun: Maverick will fly into theaters on May 27. Was Apocalypse a success? No. Will Top Gun 2 be more successful? Most likely.

Captain America: Civil War ended its run at the domestic box office, earning $408 million. The Chris Evans-led trio also have 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and received an A rating from CinemaScore. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, but if they were both picked from the same tree.

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The general consensus is that Multiverse of Madness didn’t live up to the hype and will hurt it in the long run, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a big earner. If he stays on track, Multiverse of Madness may narrow its total interior range to between $395 million and $405 million.

To fall anywhere in that range would make it the 10th highest-grossing MCU film in North America. A realistic goal after becoming the seventh highest opening weekend in Marvel Studios history.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness plays in theaters around the world.

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