Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness just arrived in theaters and despite earning an impressive opening at the box office, reactions are proving to be mixed, to say the least. From the disappointment of absent cameos to the lack of enjoyment of Sam Raimi's horror style, this may be among the most divisive entries into the Marvel universe.
There have been plenty of highs and lows in Phase 4; Eternals suffered the worst audience reaction in MCU history and Spider-Man: No Way Home placed among the best just one month later. Multiverse of Madness appeared placed for success after positive early reviews, but critics and audiences don't always agree, which Marvel Studios has just proven once again.
Doctor Strange 2 Earns Second-Worst MCU Audience Reaction
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has officially received a B+ CinemaScore rating - tied for the second-worst grade in MCU movie history.
The rating places Multiverse of Madness on equal footing with the first Thor film, only surpassing Eternals' CinemaScore of a B.
By comparison, Doctor Strange previously earned itself an A, while Spider-Man: No Way Home attained a perfect score of A+. But at least it managed to beat Morbius' abysmal C+ rating.
CinemaScore determines its ratings by polling audiences straight out of the theater in order to gauge initial reactions.
- Iron Man: A
- The Incredible Hulk: A-
- Iron Man 2: A
- Thor: B+
- Captain America: The First Avenger: A-
- The Avengers: A+
- Iron Man 3: A
- Thor: The Dark World: A-
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier: A
- Guardians of the Galaxy: A
- Avengers: Age of Ultron: A
- Ant-Man: A
- Captain America: Civil War: A
- Doctor Strange: A
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: A
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: A
- Thor: Ragnarok: A
- Black Panther: A+
- Avengers: Infinity War: A
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: A-
- Captain Marvel: A
- Avengers: Endgame: A+
- Spider-Man: Far From Home: A
- Black Widow: A-
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: A
- Eternals: B
- Spider-Man: No Way Home: A+
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: B+
Are Fans Really Hating Doctor Strange 2?
After years of anticipation, Multiverse of Madness has suffered from the level of excitement. Following rumors of shocking cameos and speculation of game-changing twists, director Sam Raimi instead delivered a horror flick that succeeds as a Doctor Strange sequel but fails as an Avengers-level blockbuster.
It's hard to tell exactly what has led to this disappointing CinemaScore for Multiverse of Madness, after all, the Rotten Tomatoes audience rating currently stands at an impressive 88%. While CinemaScore gauges general moviegoers straight out of the theater, Rotten Tomatoes bases its rating on reviews posted on its site.
With more hardcore fans being drastically more likely than casuals to share an online rating, that would indicate the Doctor Strange sequel is faring well with MCU diehards, but poorly among the everyday viewer. There are countless explanations for why this could be, but disappointment is the obvious answer.
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
For months there have been rumors of insane cameos from classic heroes and speculation of game-changing consequences for the MCU. Tragically, Multiverse of Madness doesn't do much of that, the only lasting consequences were on the characters themselves, and the cameos were limited to the Illuminati, of which only the appearances of Mr. Fantastic and Black Bolt were surprises.
Granted, that isn't the fault of the movie itself, but more of the expectations that were set going into it. With many understandably leaving screenings disappointed at the lack of jaw-dropping moments, initial reactions are bound to be far from positive, but perhaps the sequel will be one to age like fine wine.
A disappointingly low audience score means the movie is receiving poor word-of-mouth between friends and family, something which typically leads to a drastic box office drop-off. Things may have opened well, but only time will tell how Marvel Studios' latest blockbuster will fare at the box office in the weeks to come.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing now in theaters around the world.