“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” remained atop the box office charts in its second weekend in theaters, earning an additional $61 million from North American theaters, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
With $688 million in worldwide revenue, it’s already one of the highest-grossing movies of the pandemic and the second-biggest of 2022. But a 67% drop is also a steep drop, even for super movies. -Reliably preloaded heroes. Still, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” slipped 68% over weekend two.
Released by the Walt Disney Co., “Doctor Strange 2” benefited from being the first Marvel film to follow “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” in which Benedict Cumberbatch’s wizard played a pivotal role.
Directed by Sam Raimi, “Doctor Strange 2” also builds on the popular Disney+ series “Wandavision” and contains a number of cameos that fans didn’t want to spoil. The elements all came together to give “Doctor Strange” the 11th biggest domestic debut of all time. But the reviews weren’t quite as strong as the last episode of “Spider-Man,” which could impact the film in the long run.
The film has already surpassed the worldwide earnings of the first “Doctor Strange” film, as well as 11 other Marvel Cinematic Universe titles – and it’s not even playing in China.
“Audiences are hungry for those big blockbusters on the big screen,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “That market gave ‘Doctor Strange’ a fairly long runway to succeed all the way to ‘Top Gun’.”
There were few new competitors. The only major new movie was Universal Pictures and Blumhouse’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “Firestarter,” which was released in both theaters and on the company’s streaming service, Peacock+.
Starring Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong, “Firestarter” earned just $3.8 million from 3,412 North American theaters. Reviews for the film didn’t drop until the day it was released, but critics were less than impressed with this iteration of King’s story about a preteen with pyrokinetic powers. The audience was also not on board, earning it a C-CinemaScore. As Dergarabedian noted, however, no film that opens “day and date” in theaters and streaming expects to break records.
“The idea that an exclusive theatrical debut gives films their best chance at success is correct,” Dergarabedian said.
“Firestarter” debuted in fourth place, behind family films “The Bad Guys” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” which took second and third place. Now in its fourth weekend, Universal’s “The Bad Guys” has added $6.9 million, taking its worldwide box office receipts to $165.6 million. “Sonic 2,” in its sixth week, grossed $4.6 million, bringing its running total to $175.7 million.
Meanwhile, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is still going strong even after eight weeks of release. The A24 film took in an additional $3.3 million, down just 6% from the previous weekend, bringing its total box office receipts to $47 million.
The religious comedy “Family Camp” also opened this weekend from Roadside Attractions. Playing on 854 screens, the PG-rated pic grossed $1.4 million. And Bleecker Street released the well-reviewed indie “Montana Story,” starring Haley Lu Richardson as a woman who returns home with her estranged brother to care for their ailing father. “Montana Story” grossed $20,104 in four theaters.
Things will ramp up considerably in the weeks to come: next weekend, Focus Features launches “Downton Abbey: A New Era” and A24 presents Alex Garland’s thriller “Men”, before everyone opens the way to Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick”. “Flying in theaters on Memorial Day weekend.
Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” $61 million
2. “The Bad Guys,” $6.9 million.
3. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” $4.6 million.
4. “Firestarter”, $3.8 million.
5. “Everything, everywhere, all at once”, $3.3 million.
6. ‘Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets’, $2.4 million.
7. “The Lost City,” $1.7 million.
8. “The Northman,” $1.7 million.
9. “Family Camp,” $1.4 million.
10. “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” $1 million.
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr