Can Marvel Studios’ ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Jumpstart the Summer Box Office Early?

Following several weeks of a box office lull, exhibitors get the chance to realize a summer blockbuster early with the debut of Disney/Marvel Studios’ latest superhero movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, featuring Bennedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

With strong brand appeal with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and 79% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie could tally as much as $200 million in its opening weekend box office. The last May theatrical release to top the mark was Marvel’s The Avengers, which generated an all-time opening weekend box office of $207.4 million in 2012.

Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange character also saw significant supporting roles in recent box office hits Spider-Man: No Way HomeAvengers: Endgame, and Avengers: Infinity War.

The movie is off to a strong start, generating a whopping $36 million in Thursday night screenings.

Director Sam Raimi also has a track record for over-performing opening weekend ticket sales. In 2002, he became the first director to see a movie (Spider-Man) top $100 million in its weekend debut. Raimi topped that in 2007 with a $150 million opening weekend for Spider-Man 3.

On the heels of the newest superhero flick are recent weekend box office hits The Bad Guys (Universal Pictures), which is projected to generate another $9.9 million in ticket sales; and Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with $6.6 million. Other holdovers include Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (Warner Bros.) with $3.4 million in projected ticket sales, and A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once with $3.1 million.

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