According to studio estimates on Sunday, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” topped the box office charts during its second weekend in theaters, grossing an additional $61 million from North American theaters.
With $688 million in global grosses, it is already one of the highest-grossing films of the pandemic and the second-highest film of 2022. But a 67% drop is also a steep drop—even for reliably front-loaded superhero movies. Still, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” dropped 68% in weekend two.
Released by The Walt Disney Company, “Doctor Strange 2” benefited from being the first Marvel film to follow “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, in which the wizard Benedict Cumberbatch played a key role.
Directed by Sam Raimi, ‘Doctor Strange 2’ is also based on the popular Disney+ series ‘Wondvision’ and has several cameos that fans didn’t want to spoil. All the elements came together to give “Doctor Strange” the 11th biggest domestic debut of all time. But the reviews also weren’t as strong for the latest “Spider-Man” installment, which may have stymied the film in the long run.
The film has previously surpassed the global earnings of the “Doctor Strange” film, as well as 11 other Marvel Cinematic Universe titles — and it’s not even playing in China.
There was little in the way of new competition. The only major new film 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 Keira Armstrong, “Firestarter” made just $3.8 million from 3,412 North American theaters. The film’s rave reviews did not drop until the day of its release, but critics were no less impressed with this iteration of King’s story about a preteen with pyrokinetic powers. The audience was also not on board, giving it a C-Cinemascore.
“Firestarter” debuted in fourth place, behind the holdover family films “The Bad Guys” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”, which took second and third. Now in its fourth weekend, Universal’s “The Bad Guys” added $6.9 million, bringing its global gross to $165.6 million. “Sonic 2” earned $4.6 million in its sixth week, bringing its cumulative total to $175.7 million.
Meanwhile, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is still going strong eight weeks after its release. The A24 film grossed an additional $3.3 million, down only 6% from the previous weekend, bringing its total to $47 million.
The faith comedy “Family Camp” also debuted this weekend with a roadside attraction. Playing on 854 screens, the PG-rated picture earned $1.4 million. and Bleacher Street released the well-reviewed indie “Montana Story”, starring Haley Lou Richardson as a woman who returns home with her brother to care for her ailing father. ‘Montana Story’ grossed $20,104 from four theaters.
Things will move pretty fast in the coming weeks: Next weekend, Focus Features debut “Downton Abbey: A New Era” and the Alex Garland thriller “Men” at A24, before everyone else heads to Tom Cruise for “Top Gun: Maverick”. “Let me clear the way. He flies into theaters over Memorial Day weekend.