It’s been five and a half years since Benedict Cumberbatch’s goateed superhero headlined a solo movie, and we’d be selling it very short to say a lot has changed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since then. That extends to eye-watering box office hauls, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness already off to a flyer after its first day in international theaters.
Sam Raimi’s sequel only opened in 20 markets, but still managed to hoover up over $27 million. To put that into perspective, that’s 153% ahead of the first installment, and only 4% behind Spider-Man: No Way Home. While Multiverse of Madness isn’t expected to come close to the $1.9 billion brought in by Tom Holland’s recent threequel, the benchmark is surely a billion at the very least.
Nobody’s going to be surprised if the reality-warping jaunt through the MCU’s many realities becomes only the second pandemic-era release to hit $200 million domestic in its first three days, with Kevin Feige’s franchise largely remaining bulletproof throughout the age of COVID-19.
Early reviews have been strong, and fans have been champing at the bit to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ever since the first teaser trailer debuted as second and final stinger on No Way Home, so we can expect the ambitious undertaking to blow the competition out of the water for the next couple of weeks.
The Master of the Mystic Arts has the place all to himself for three weeks until Top Gun: Maverick arrives on May, meaning that we’ll be hearing plenty about Doctor Strange 2’s dominance between now and then.