Despite all the hype, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is already beginning to trend downward after only its second week in theaters, which is highly unusual for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which probably isn’t helped by the lack of awe-inspiring enthusiasm that it generated.
Don’t get us wrong, Sam Raimi’s sequel is an absolute blast when its firing on all cylinders, but the facts speak for themselves. Not only did it land the franchise’s second-worst CinemaScore, but only four of the previous 27 installments in the superhero series have been rated lower on Rotten Tomatoes, while it’s one of only four (alongside Eternals, Thor: The Dark World, and The Incredible Hulk) that hasn’t been certified Fresh on the aggregation site as of yet.
In addition, following on from enduring the steepest Friday-to-Friday drop in MCU history, Multiverse of Madness has also taken a hefty tumble in its second full frame. While a $61 million sophomore weekend is still enough to win the box office by a mile, that’s down 67 percent from seven days ago, although Doctor Strange 2 did debut with the 11th highest-grossing domestic opening of all-time.
The success of superhero blockbusters shouldn’t be judged on whether or not they’ve got the legs to make it past the coveted billion-dollar threshold, which is just as well when it’s beginning to look like the reality-bending extravaganza isn’t going to make it to ten figures.
Next out of the blocks is Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in November, so those predicting the demise of the MCU had better hold off for now.