Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is coming in with a Disney-reported $57.5M Saturday, which is 36% off from the pic’s opening day of $90M. Many believe that the sequel’s opening is between $194M-$197M, according to industry estimates. But Disney is calling stateside at $185M as of this morning, or as Entelligence reports, that translates to 13.5M admissions.
Either way, that’s a great kickoff to summer and the best opening for a Disney movie during the pandemic, and the second-best during the Covid-19 era after Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s $260.1M.
While domestic will likely come in higher by tomorrow AM, global for Doctor Strange 2 at $450M reps the second-highest WW opening for any MPA movie during Covid-19, as well as the best year to date; all of this after Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s $600.5M global launch.
There’s been concern that Mother’s Day will drag the grosses down today. However, that’s already been accounted for, with an estimate around $44M per industry projections (-23%). Disney is forecasting $37.5M. The trajectory is roughly similar to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which saw a Friday to Saturday decline of 33% and a 3-day of $191.27M. One rival distribution boss says, “Mother’s Day is actually a great day for moviegoing.” Furthermore, as we previously mentioned, one of the selling points here with Doctor Strange 2 is in mama bear herself, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff.
Now, back out those $36M Thursday previews from Doctor Strange 2‘s first day, and Friday was really $54M for the pic. That means Saturday was +6% over Friday, which is great and means the movie isn’t collapsing from that B+ CinemaScore.
Meanwhile, in case you were wondering, why, yes — the big chains and other exhibitors did upcharge on Doctor Strange 2 next to other films. Hey, after being movie theaters were closed for roughly a year between 2020-2021, they gotta eat. By and large, AMC is commanding the highest average ticket price for the Sam Raimi movie at $14.84, with Regal second at $13.77. Data is courtesy of EntTelligence.
Marvel wisely kicked off the marketing campaign for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with a trailer at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home. If my memory serves me right, that’s the first trailer that Marvel actually dropped for a subsequent MCU title in a pic’s end credits. That was a brilliant stroke in regards to reach, as everyone saw that Sony/Marvel title, with Disney releasing the trailer online a few days after No Way Home‘s $260.1M second-best-ever domestic opening.
The trailer and teasers were further trumpeted during Super Bowl LVI Pre-Kick, Olympics, NCAA Final Four Pre-Sale Messaging, and more. There were digital takeovers on Amazon Fire TV, YouTube CTV Masthead, Roku, Snapchat First Commercial, ESPN FrontPage, Fandango, Twitter Spotlight Trend, Twitch First Impression, Reddit Trending, and more. There was also placement in high-profile programming, including the NBA Playoffs, late night, SNL, American Idol, This Is Us, The Walking Dead, American Song Contest, The Good Doctor, Univision Novelas. Disney made a special media focus on April 28, which was National Superhero Day and included spots during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Draft.
RelishMix notes that coming off of the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, the Doctor Strange 2 trailer grabbed the most viewership online in the 24 hours after the game, with 93.1M social views besting Jurassic World Dominion (86.8M views) and upcoming Prime Video series Lord of the Rings (80.3M views).
Promo partners for Doctor strange included Procter & Gamble/Tide, who launched “Cloak vs. Tuna Melt,” in which Marvel Partnerships developed and produced a co-branded short-form spot where Wong accidentally dirties the Cloak with a tuna sandwich, resulting in an even dirtier NYC chase to get the Cloak into the wash.
Another promo partner was G Fuel, which is a top drink among gamers, Xbox (which included custom cobranded console kits; Xbox’s 4thMarvel partnership) and Jaeger-Le Coultre. International partnerships included Mori Building Co., Japan’s leading urban landscape developer, leveraging its existing pop-culture fan events by turning its café and menu into a cobranded interactive photo-op experience, as well as Cadillac, Maybank, and Shell in APAC; Xiaomi and T-Mobile in EMEA; and Club Premier (Mexico) and Virgin Plus (Canada).
Digital activations for Doctor Strange 2 featured Xochitl Gomez taking over the @Instagram account (480M followers). It should also be noted that Hispanic and Latino audiences are overindexing for this Marvel title with a 28% turnout versus the Marvel average of 22%.
Other digital promos included a custom Instagram AR lens that utilized the shattered glass motif, Instagram stickers, and a Messenger AR Group Effects which also used the shattered glass motif. There was a Twitter Spotlight with exclusive branded “like” custom animations utilizing the recognizable Doctor Strange portal; six custom emojis and a Twitter Q&A with Cumberbatch and Olsen on @twittermovies.
Also, according to RelishMix, most of the cast for the sequel was non-social, which is unusual for a Marvel movie, i.e. Cumberbatch, Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams. Benedict Wong does have 692K followers on Instagram, and Cumberbatch has a super fan page with 2M followers with posts from premieres, marketing materials and behind-the-scenes.
Imax screens at a 410 count amped up $18M for Doctor Strange 2, a $44K theater average and the biggest Imax U.S./Canada opening ever in May, and the sixth highest Imax Marvel stateside opening ever. Overall, all premium formats are contributing 36% of Doctor Strange 2‘s box office.
“Summer blockbuster season is off to a roaring start with Doctor Strange— an excellent sign for the phenomenal slate ahead representing some of the most bankable franchises, filmmakers, and stars in the world,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX in a statement. “From our Filmed for IMAX camera program to IMAX Enhanced on Disney+, IMAX and Disney have built a strong partnership that will only grow this year with amazing releases like Lightyear, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Avatar: The Way of Water to come.”
Another bragging point here about Doctor Strange 2, especially with the exclusive drop of the Avatar 2 trailer in its theaters this week, is that 3D accounted for 9% of the pic’s opening weekend, an encouraging number not far from the pre-pandemic shares of Captain Marvel – 11%, Ant-Man & The Wasp – 10% and Spider-Man: Far From Home – 9%.
Disney reported demos show a general audience of 88%, with parents and kids at a combined 12% turnout. There’s been a lot of hay made about the PG-13 rating and how scary Doctor Strange 2 is. However, that turnout by families is one point shy of the ratio of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was 13%. Yeah, if you have a 5- or 6-year-old, this is a scary movie. But no one is getting their hearts pulled out of their chests like in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Furthermore, kids under 12 gave the movie 5 stars, while their parents awarded it with 4 1/2 stars. Umm, so, not so scary after all. Sequel is still being driven by 62% guys and 57% 18-34.
Total overall ticket sales for the weekend per ComScore are at $219.1M, +10% vs. the same first weekend of May in 2019. Total running domestic B.O. for Jan. 1-May 8 is $2.19 billion, +361% over the same frame last year.
Again, Doctor Strange 2 pulled in the second biggest audience over a pic’s opening weekend during the pandemic per EntTelligence. Check out the chart below:
1.) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Dis) 4,534 theaters, Fri $90M/Sat $57.5M/Sun $37.5M, 3-day $185M/Wk 1
Industry projections for the weekend are between $194M-$197M for the Marvel sequel. TBD tomorrow AM.
2.) The Bad Guys (Uni) 3,839 (-203) Theaters, Fri $2.3M (-38%), Sat $4.1M, Sun $3.3M, 3-day $9.77M (-40%)/Total $57.5M/Wk 3
3.)Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 3,358 (-443) theaters, Fri $1.5M (-41%), Sat $2.74M, Sun $1.96M, 3-day $6.2M (-46%)/Total $169.9M/Wk 5
4.) Fantastic Beasts…Dumbledore (WB), 3,051 (-911) theaters, Fri $1.045M (-51%), Sat $1.7M, Sun $1.2M, 3-day $3.95M (-52%)/Total $86M/Wk 4
5.) Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) 1,542 (-671) theaters, Fri $951K (-39%), Sat $1.35M, Sun $1M, 3-day $3.3M (-40%)/Total $41.56M/Wk 7
6.) The Northman (Foc) 2,413 (-871) theaters, Fri $830K (-54%), Sat $1.1M, Sun $800K, 3-day $2.77M (-56%)/Total $28M/Wk 3
7.) The Lost City (Par) 1,897 (-698) theaters Fri. $635K, Sat $1M, Sun$865K, 3-day $2.5M (-35%)/Total $94.38M/ Wk 7
This movie is heading toward $100M; underscoring that middle budget movies do work at the box office, and that women during the pandemic indeed want to go back to the cinema.
8.) Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (LG) 1,331 (-1,705) theaters, Fri $437K, Sat $618K, Sun $470K, 3-day $1.525M (-61%)/Total $16.3M/Wk 3
9.) Memory (Open Road) 2,433 (-122) theaters, Fri $370K (-66%), Sat $510K, Sun $340K, 3-day $1.22M (-60%)/Total/ $5.49MWk 2
10.) Father Stu (Sony) 1,265 (-1,211) theaters, Fri $210K, Sat $285K, Sun $305K, 3-day $800K (-64%), Total $19.2M/Wk 4