‘Doctor Strange 2’ Had One of Marvel’s Biggest Second Weekend Drops at the Box Office
The good news for Marvel: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness once again dominated the weekend box office, grossing an estimated $61 million in theaters. The bad news: That represents a very steep drop from Multiverse of Madness’ opening weekend. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but it’s roughly a decline of 67 percent from its first to its second weekend in multiplexes.
With big blockbusters, anything below a 60 percent drop from week to week is considered pretty good; above 60 percent is considered a sign that the film does not have great word of mouth or repeat business. And Multiverse of Madness’ 67 percent drop is among the sharpest declines in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s how it compares with the MCU’s biggest second weekend drops to date:
The MCU’s Biggest Second-Weekend Drops at the Box Office
(The MCU’s smallest opening-to-second-weekend drop, if you’re wondering, is Black Panther, which dropped just 44.7 percent from its first to its second weekend on its way to becoming one of Marvel’s biggest hits ever.)
What’s eye-catching among that list — and potentially a little worrisome — is that four of those five titles have come in the last 12 months. (The one outlier is Spider-Man: Homecoming.) You would need to be lost in a multiverse of madness to suggest Marvel is in trouble; it is not. But it doesn’t seem outrageous to suggest that Marvel might be showing their first signs of weakness in a while.
Obviously, there is still enormous demand for their movies. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made more money in its opening weekend than the first Captain America made in its entire run in theaters. But it also cost a lot more — and it’s gotten a so-so B+ rating from audiences on CinemaScore. And most of their recent movies are dropping quicker down the box office charts than they used to.
In other words, Marvel has built a rabid fanbase. But these numbers could indicate that those that are on the outside of that fanbase might be less inclined to sample their new movies than they used to be. The fact that Marvel produces 3-4 movies every year, and releases 3-4 MCU TV shows on Disney+ every year could also be a factor; these things are much less special than they used to be.
The next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is Thor: Love and Thunder. It opens in theaters on July 8. We’ll see if it fares better with audiences than Multiverse of Madness.