Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could revive theatres to its glory days this summer as Marvel Studios’ sequel gets all set to arrive in over 4,400 theaters in the US – a sweeping release for a blockbuster arriving during the pandemic era. According to early estimates, the movie looks to bag at least $300 million at the worldwide box office.
With the verdict out on Doctor Strange 2, praises have poured in for director Sam Raimi for exploring the horror elements of Multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as applauds for Elizabeth Olsen‘s performance and newcomer Xochitl Gomez. The sequel, which will follow up on the events left off from Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Disney Plus series WandaVision and Loki – is expected to earn around $160-$180 million domestic, as Deadline reports. An additional $140 million-plus is eyed overseas.
Kicking off its debut weekend with a $300M start puts the second installment below Sony Pictures’ No Way Home which raked in $582M. The two Marvel titles stand top among the best openers in this pandemic era with DC Film’s The Batman landing third at $251M. However, the movie did lose out releasing in Russia, China and the Middle East.
Doctor Strange 2 was caught amid controversy after Egypt and Saudi Arabia banned the Marvel blockbuster for referencing an LGBTQ+ character. Furthermore, Beijing also denied releasing Multiverse of Madness for including a brief shot of a newspaper kiosk that opposed the Chinese Communist Party.
Doctor Strange 2’s Rotten Tomatoes score currently stands at 81% but it’s comparatively less compared to No Way Home’s 93%. Even so, there’s still a possibility for a higher audience score for the sequel. While early reactions have been divided, even critics that pointed out flaws have praised the film as an entertaining experience with Raimi’s frightening and mesmerizing filmmaking.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theatres on May 6.
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