Imax: ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Biggest-Ever May Box Office Opening

Imax Corp. May 9 announced that its $33 million Mother’s Day weekend box office opening for Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was the biggest May worldwide opening ever for the 3D exhibitor. The movie also ranks as the fifth-biggest global Imax opening ever for a Marvel film.

The Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer generated $185 million across all North American screens, to end the weekend with about $450 million in ticket sales globally.

The strong Imax debut was led by a slew of historic performances around the world, where the movie delivered a top 10 all-time opening weekend in 48 of the exhibitor’s 68 international markets. That includes eight global markets where the film delivered the biggest Imax opening weekend of all time, including India, Malaysia, Singapore, Argentina, Turkey, Vietnam, Lebanon and Nigeria.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was shot with Imax cameras and the entire film features an Imax-exclusive expanded aspect ratio. The film delivered $18 million on 410 Imax screens in North America, and $15 million across 350 screens in 68 countries and territories internationally. Imax also made the film available in 3D across select theatres worldwide.

“Summer blockbuster season is off to a roaring start with Doctor Strange — an excellent sign for the phenomenal slate ahead representing some of the most bankable franchises, filmmakers, and stars in the world,” Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax, said in a statement.

Pending Disney releases in Imax include Lightyear, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water.

Imax screened the exclusive teaser of Avatar: The Way of Water, the sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar, before all Doctor Strange 2 showings. The original Avatar still stands as the highest grossing Imax film of all time, with more than $250 million in box office receipts despite an initial release of only 300 Imax screens.

“We are very happy to see the great fan reaction to the Avatar teaser and, given our historic performance on the first film, we’re looking forward to this great franchise returning to theatres to cap off a strong year at the movies,” Gelfond said.

‘Shazam!’ Flying to Home Video in July From Warner

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the DC Comics superhero movie Shazam! digitally July 2, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray July 16.

The film tells the story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a teenager in foster care who is empowered by a wizard (Djimon Hounsou) to become the superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) to defend the realms of magic from the evil Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong).

The cast also includes Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews.

The film earned $138.2 million at the domestic box office.

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The character first appeared in comic books published by Fawcett in 1940 under the name Captain Marvel, and was later acquired by DC.

To avoid confusion with the Marvel Comics character of Captain Marvel (whose own movie will be available for digital download May 28 and on disc June 11), DC eventually changed the character’s name to Shazam, the word Billy says to transform into the adult superhero (also the name of the Wizard who gives Billy his powers).

Shazam is an acronym derived from the names of the six mythological heroes from which the character draws his power: the wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles and speed of Mercury.

The Shazam! Blu-ray and special-edition DVD will include an exclusive Shazam motion comic, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a breakdown of the carnival scene, and the featurettes “The Magical World of Shazam,” “Super Fun Zac,” “Shazamily Values” and “Who is Shazam?”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Shazam! will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

A 3D Blu-ray is listed for preorder at WBshop.com as well.