Doctor Strange 2 Earns One of Marvel’s Best Openings of All-Time

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange 2 logo, Avengers, Spider-Man: No Way Home

The anticipation surrounding Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been sky-high, as the sequel is poised to push the concept of alternate realities into the forefront. Directed by Sam Raimi, the upcoming MCU flick will not only continue the story of the first Doctor Strange film, but it is expected to also address key plot points of WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The sequel also boasts a stellar cast that includes lead star Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, and several more surprise appearances. 

Box office projections for Multiverse of Madness have revealed that the film is set for a three-day domestic opening weekend total of between $165 and $205 million, ultimately leading to a total gross of $400 to $535 million. Advanced ticket sales for the sequel have already been unveiled, with the film raking in an estimated $42M. 

Some fans have theorized that Multiverse of Madness will have one of the best MCU openings of all time at the box office. Now, it looks like that projection is on par with the actual numbers based on a new report. 

Doctor Strange 2 Scores Massive Box Office Opening

Doctor Stange 2 Avengers

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earned $36 million domestically from Thursday night preview showings, which started at 3:00 pm ET in U.S. theaters on May 5.

As a result of this massive haul, the MCU sequel is now the fourth-highest domestic opening of all-time among Marvel movies and the eighth-highest preview ever, ranking behind Avengers: Infinity War's $39M in 2018.

This is also the second-best preview during the pandemic after Spider-Man: No Way Home's stellar $50M haul back in December 2021. 

Here are more numbers for comparison: 

Avengers: Endgame: $60M
No Way Home: $50M
Infinity War: $39M
Multiverse of Madness: $36M

Doctor Strange 2's Impressive Start 

Multiverse of Madness is off to an incredible start at the box office, and signs point to the sequel's momentum continuing during its opening weekend.

The film joins an impressive lineup in the top five box-office openings of all time, with titles such as Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: No Way Home - movies that are known to be crowd-pleasers - already on that list.  

This latest box office development for Multiverse of Madness is also a promising sign for movie theaters in general, as it adds more semblance of normalcy as the numbers are now going back to pre-pandemic projections. It's safe to assume that more fans will head to theaters to see the movie as well, considering the positive reactions from critics and the promise of seeing more surprise appearances

It is unknown if the Doctor Strange sequel will reach the $1 billion mark at the box office, but history suggests that it seems poised to achieve that mark. Based on the top four MCU movies on the list, all of them have reached the $1 billion mark in ticket sales, and the same could be true for the Benedict Cumberbatch-led sequel. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters worldwide. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.