‘Doctor Strange 2’ Fires Up With $ 36 Million In Previews – Deadline

SATURDAY AM: Refresh for chart and more analysis Business got better for Disney / Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness last night sending its ticket sales from $ 85M where we saw it yesterday midday to $ 90M (that includes previews). All of this spells for a $ 198.8M- $ 200M opening weekend according to industry estimates, which would be one of the ten best stateside debuts of all-time and easily Disney’s best during the pandemic. Overseas is at $ 139.3M to date, and global at $ 229.3M, which means the pic will easily beat its WW $ 300M opening projection. As Disney has pumped up the global expansion of its streaming service, Disney +, if they’re wondering where consumers want to see Marvel movies, well, it’s on the big screen, not at home. Spirit.

Some are calling Doctor Strange 2 at $ 200M. Disney is conservatively seeing $ 170M- $ 185M. What’s giving pause to the industry outlook is the fact that this sequel isn’t as widely beloved as other titles in the MCU which typically get A grades. That buzz might curb business a little. We’ll see tonight. Doctor Strange 2 gets a B + CinemaScore, the same grade as its 2016 movie, and among a handful of B movies in the MCU including Eternals (B), Thor (B +) and Hulk (B-). Comscore / Screen Engine’s PostTrak is still 4 stars and 82%. On the other hand, there’s nothing else on the marquee like Doctor Strange 2.

Still with grades like that for Doctor Strange 2, ticket sales look to be besting overall critical and audience reception, and credit is due to the Disney marketing machine for pulling that off. It’s an easier feat with an established character like Doctor Strange who has starred in the Avengers movies, versus a group of frosh face superheroes like the Eternals. Disney / Mavel created a want-to-see in how Doctor Strange 2 was sold as a sequel to WandaVision (which was smart for Marvel boss Kevin Feige to tease very early on during press tours; it helps when Marvel doesn’t keep everything so so ‘secret-secret’ in their promotions), as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home. There was also an assumption out there by fans that this sequel would wink at Loki as well. Whether that was true (or not), it still spurred curiosity.

If Wall Street was betting on the extinction of the exhibition during the pandemic, consider those forecasts dead wrong, even if Doctor Strange 2 settles near $ 180M. This return to Marvel by filmmaker Sam Raimi is propelling total ticket sales this weekend to an estimated $ 235M, which is + 18% over the first weekend of May 2019, pre-pandemic. Remember, that was the second weekend of Avengers: Endgame, which amazingly pulled in $ 147.3M, the second best second weekend of all-time at the domestic box office. Some media cynics will say that audiences only want to see Marvel movies. I think that will be proven untrue when a near 60-year old movie star’s sequel, Top Gun Maverick, comes out on Memorial Day weekend.

If you haven’t listened to Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast already, clock below. Doctor Strange 2 scribe and Loki creator Michael Waldron said that for a minute in the development of the Steven Strange part 2, the pic was positioned to go before No Way Home.

“When the release dates got swapped, that’s when it got tricky,” Waldron told Dominic and I.

“I spent the bulk of this movie thinking we’d be coming out before No Way Home and that we were going to be blowing the lid on the multiverse. When that shift in release dates happened, it was like the audience is going to be acclimated, ”says the Emmy winning scribe of Rick and Morty, “Dr. Strange is going to have had an experience with the multiverse and that has a knock-down effect on everything. ”

Listen below to Hero Nation:


FRIDAY MIDDAY: Sam Raimi’s return to Marvel, Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is eyeing an $ 85M + Friday at 4,534 theaters according to industry estimates. The number includes last night’s $ 36M in previews.

Among opening days, that’s poised to be the 8th largest of all-time stateside, after Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker which did $ 89.6M and ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron which did $ 84.4M. Doctor Strange 2 is also the biggest opening day for Disney since 2019’s Skywalker, their last big blockbuster before the pandemic set in.

Weekend projections continue to be wild. Many believe Doctor Strange 2 has a shot at $ 190M- $ 200Mbut if frontloaded ticket sales set in, then we could be looking more at a $ 180M 3-day. Mother’s Day is on Sunday and despite Wanda Maximoff being a fierce mama bear, Doctor Strange 2 isn’t exactly a movie you’d take your mom to.

Last night’s crowd for the Benedict Cumberbatch-Elizabeth Olsen-Rachel McAdams movie was 4 stars on Comscore / Screen Engine’s PostTrak with an 81% positive, and the 18-34 crowd at 63%. Men over 25 repped 38% (85% grade), guys under 25 were 24% (79% grade), women over 25 were 23% (77%) while females under 25 repped 16% (81% grade). So far, a 71% definite recommend for the sequel. Diversity demos were 34% Caucasian, 30% Hispanic and Latino, 18% Black and 11% Asian.

In 2nd place for the weekend is Universal / DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys with $ 2.5M today at 3,838 locations, -33% from a week ago, for a third weekend of $ 11.1M, -32% and a running total of $ 58.9M.

Third goes to Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in weekend 5 at 3,358 venues, a $ 1.6M Friday, -37%, and $ 7M + weekend for a running total just under $ 171M.

Fourth goes to Warner Bros. ‘ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore at 3,051 sites, with a $ 1M Friday, and $ 4M + weekend with an EOD Sunday of $ 86M.

A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once at 2,000 locations in its 7th Friday will get $ 900K in fifth place, a $ 3M + 3-day and a running total of $ 40.9M.



FRIDAY AM: Disney / Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness racked up $ 36 million from previews that began at 3 pm 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 the 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 to 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 pm). 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.

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