Doctor Strange 2 Suffers One of the Worst Drops In MCU History (Box Office)

By David Thompson Updated:
Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness Avengers

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen has been released in theaters across the globe. Audiences flooded the cinemas last weekend, with the film earning $187.4 million domestically and $265 million internationally.

The buzz around the Sorceror Supreme's sequel was loud, especially after the juggernaut success (monetary and critical) of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Couple that with the return of director Sam Raimi to comic book movies and the never-ending list of possible cameos, and Doctor Strange 2 became the 11th highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.

However, it's not all rainbows and sunshine for Marvel's witty Wizard. The Direct's review said "...the simplistic nature of the plot does make it come off as goofy at times..." and "The lack of deep diving will leave some disappointed..." Doctor Strange 2 currently sits at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes (not certified fresh) and has a CinemaScore of B+.

The lack of overwhelmingly positive word of mouth after a white-hot opening is a recipe for a disappointing second weekend.

Doctor Strange Suffers a Historic Box Office Drop

Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness

UPDATE: Multiverse of Madness has grossed an estimated $61 million during its second weekend at the domestic box office, a 67.5% drop from its $187.4 million opening weekend.

Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness grossed $16.7 million on Friday, dropping a steep 81% from the $90.7 million earned domestically during its opening day. This marks the second-worst second Friday drop for an MCU movie. Projections have the film dropping around 65%-69% this second weekend, eyeing a gross of $60-$65 million. 

Back in December, Spider-Man: No Way Home suffered an incredibly steep drop during its second Friday, 83.9%, but that was during Christmas Eve. That Friday drop didn't seem to factor in much as Tom Holland's third Spidey flick is the third-highest grossing movie of all time at the domestic box office ($804.6 million).

More comparable second Friday drops can be seen below:

Does Multiverse of Madness have Legs?

Current projections have Multiverse of Madness totaling its domestic run between $380-$405 million. A wide range. Let's narrow that down.

Captain America: Civil War was released on May 6th, 2016. Chris Evans' third Captain America film grossed $179.1 million on its opening weekend. Exactly six years later, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was released on May 6th and grossed $187.9 million.

Three weeks later, X-Men: Apocalypse was released on May 27th. In three weeks, Top Gun: Maverick will fly into theaters on May 27th. Was Apocalypse a success? No. Will Top Gun 2 be more successful? Probably.

Captain America: Civil War completed its domestic box office run, earning $408 million. The Chris Evans-led threequel also has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and received an A grade from CinemaScore. It is like comparing apples to oranges, but if they both were plucked from the same tree.

The general consensus is that Multiverse of Madness did not live up to the hype and will hurt it in the long run, but that doesn't mean it won't be a big earner. If it stays on track, Multiverse of Madness can shrink its total domestic range between $395-$405 million.

Falling anywhere within this range would make it the 10th highest-grossing MCU film in North America. A realistic goal after becoming the seventh-highest opening weekend in Marvel Studios history.

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

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.