From Lindsay Bar Associated Press

The summer film season begins as a blockbuster thanks to “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” The superhero extravaganza earned approximately $ 185 million in ticket sales during its first weekend in theaters in the United States and Canada, Walt Disney Co. reported.

Not only has it doubled since the opening of the first Doctor Strange, which opened at $ 85 million in 2016, but it is also the biggest discoverer of the year, ahead of $ 134 million at Batman; the second-largest pandemic, after Spider-Man: Away from Home, $ 260.1 million; and the sixth largest ever in the world.

Internationally, it is doing even better with approximately $ 265 million since opening Wednesday. In total, Doctor Strange 2 has already earned $ 450 million.

Spider-Man should at least partially thank for the massive debut. The powerful wizard Benedict Cumberbatch appeared in a prominent place in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, which became the third greatest film of all time since its opening in December. “Doctor Strange 2” begins a few months after the events of “No Way Home” and includes Wanda Maximoff by Elizabeth Olson, which became even more popular thanks to the recent Disney + series “WandaVision”.

The film also has a giant imprint. It is being played in 4,534 cinemas in the United States and Canada alone, which according to Disney is the seventh widest opening so far. Premium format screens, including IMAX and 3D, account for 36% of the total box office.

“The season of summer blockbusters begins wildly with Doctor Strange – a great sign for the phenomenal record ahead,” Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX, said in a statement.

The Hollywood summer film season usually begins in early May and lasts until the end of August and – in addition to the last two years – regularly provides over $ 4 billion in ticket sales (or about 40% of revenue for the year).

Raimi himself has stepped up to direct “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which is reportedly costing about $ 200 million – although that figure doesn’t account for much more than the millions spent on marketing and promotion.

Over the weekend, the film became a social media trend for everything from its many cameos to a lively debate about its PG-13 rating and whether the horror elements required anything more restrictive.

“This is a complete victory for an industry that has been almost non-existent for the box office for the past two summers,” said Paul Dergarabedyan, a senior media analyst at Comscore. “Marvel has been starting the summer for more than a decade. It’s a return to normalcy. “

There was little left for other movies to hit theaters. Part of this is due to the fact that many multiplexes have chosen to surround their hall with wall-to-wall screenings of Doctor Strange. Film critic Matt Singer tweeted a photo of the Manhattan AMC offering 70 screenings on Thursday alone.

Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s “Bad Guys” finished second in their third weekend with approximately $ 9.8 million, while Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” came in third with $ 6.2 million.

“Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets” took fourth place with $ 3.9 million, leading to $ 86 million. And in fifth place was another film with a multiverse theme, “Everything Everywhere and At Once.” It had a slight decline in its seventh weekend, but is still accelerating along with an additional $ 3.3 million from 1,542 screens in its seventh weekend in theaters. The A24 film grossed a total of $ 41.6 million.

The success of “Doctor Strange 2” only helps to build momentum for the big summer movies along the way, such as “Top Gun: Maverick” on May 27.

“We have a real summer film season in our hands, something we could not have imagined two years ago,” Dergarabedyan said. “He was expecting a long time.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in theaters in the United States and Canada, according to Comscore. The final internal data will be published on Monday.

  1. “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” $ 185 million.
  2. The Bad Boys, $ 9.8 million.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, $ 6.2 million.
  4. Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, $ 3.9 million.
  5. “Everything everywhere at once”, $ 3.3 million.
  6. The Northerner, $ 2.8 million.
  7. The Lost City, $ 2.5 million.
  8. “The Unbearable Weight of Huge Talent,” $ 1.5 million.
  9. Memory, $ 1.2 million.
  10. Father Stu, $ 800,000.

Follow AP filmwriter Lindsay Bar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr


‘Doctor Strange 2’ conjures up biggest opening of 2022

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