This Week’s Podcast: ‘Morbius,’ ‘Shining Girls’ Reviews; Box Office Report; Dr. Strange Home Release Dates

In this week’s episode of the Media Play News Podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley read and discuss John Latchem’s review of the summer’s most memed movie, Morbius. Not only did it flop at the box office, but online buzz around it reached such heights that it was released a second time, only to flop once again. Latchem has some thoughts, and so do our podcast hosts …

After that comes Stephanie Prange’s review of the Apple TV series “Shining Girls,” a multiverse murder thriller, and data on last weekend’s box office numbers. Jurassic World: Dominion leads the pack in spite of its lackluster critical reception, followed by Top Gun: Maverick, which is continuing its strong theater presence.

The weekly podcast wraps up with release date announcements for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the much-talked-about Doctor Strange sequel that scored big in theaters this spring.

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Set for Disc Release July 26

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution will release Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray July 26. The film will be available for digital purchase a month earlier, on June 22, the same day as its previously announced premiere on the Disney+ streaming service.

Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Doctor Stephen Strange, Marvel’s master of the mystic arts, fresh off helping Spider-Man deal with an incursion of alternate realities in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In Multiverse of Madness, he meets America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teenage girl from a parallel world who has the power to travel between the multiverses. But she is being pursued by an entity who seeks to control her power, leading Doctor Strange to vow to protect her. However, when he turns to fellow magic user Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) for help, he discovers a danger he never expected, sending him on a journey through parallel realities to protect his charge.

The film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams, and was directed by Sam Raimi. It has earned $391 million at the domestic box office, and $912.6 million globally.

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The home video editions will include an audio commentary by Raimi, screenwriter Michael Waldron and co-producer Richie Palmer, plus three featurettes:

  • “Method to the Madness” — The film’s production team and other Marvel employees discuss their love of Raimi and all the details of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that make one of his quintessential films”.
  • “Introducing America Chavez” — A profile of the character from the comic books, and the actress who plays her.
  • “Constructing the Multiverse” — Waldron delves into the challenges of crafting the story.

 

Also included will be a gag reel and three deleted scenes:

  • “A Great Team” — a journalist questions Doctor Strange’s integrity;
  • “Pizza Poppa” — a street vendor played by Bruce Campbell is relieved when a spell cast by Doctor Strange ends;
  • “It’s Not Permanent” — Bruce tries to accuse Doctor Strange of being an imposter.

 

Availability of the bonus materials with the digital version will vary by retailer.

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‘Doctor Strange 2’ Again Dominates North American Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios’ theatrical hit, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, remained unchallenged for a third weekend, generating an estimated $31.6 million in North American ticket sales through May 22. The sequel starring Bennedict Cumberbatch in the title role saw its domestic tally top $342 million and $803 million globally.

The global tally now exceeds the theatrical results for MGM Studios’ James Bond actioner No Time to Die ($774 million) and Warner Bros. Pictures’ DC superhero The Batman ($768 million).

The ongoing strong box office results were enough to thwart Focus Features’ family period sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era, which generated a reported $16 million across more than 3,800 North American screens. The domestic opening was only about 50% of the 2019 Downton Abbey movie, but still topped $51 million worldwide.

In a media interview, Lisa Bunnell, president of domestic distribution at Focus Features, said the sequel could help bring back the older female moviegoer.

“The only way you are going to get older audience[s] to theaters is to offer them films they want to see,” Bunnell told Variety.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ box office reign is expected to end over the coming Memorial Day weekend when oft-delayed Tom Cruise action sequel Top Gun: Maverick hits big screens worldwide.

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Can ‘New Era’ of ‘Downton Abbey’ Replace ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Atop North American Box Office?

The May 22 North American box office finds Disney/Marvel Studios’ theatrical hit, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, up against the stoic Crawley family period drama sequel Downton Abbey: A New Era, from Universal Pictures’ Focus Features.

Based on the popular TV series, the Downton Abbey original movie release in 2019 generated $31 million at its domestic opening — a tally that could slip by a projected $30 million theatrical ticket haul for the third weekend box office of Doctor Strange 2.

Then again, industry estimates suggest the Downton Abbey sequel would generate about $20 million in revenue across more than 3,800 North American screens. Other box office newcomer, A24’s Men, isn’t expected to beat Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, which is projected to sell another $6.2 million worth of tickets across 3,500 screens in its fifth weekend of release.

Regardless of the outcomes, all will be reconfigured over the next weekend’s Memorial Day when oft-delayed Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick opens in theaters worldwide.

In the Multiverse of Cash: ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Tops $61 Million in Second-Weekend Box Office Revenue

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ superhero actioner Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness didn’t disappoint, adding a projected $61 million in second weekend North American ticket sales across 4,534 screens to push its global tally to $688 million through May 15.

The sequel, again starring Bennedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, is approaching $295 million in North American revenue. The sophomore weekend 67% revenue drop tops other recent Marvel movies’ second weekend tallies, but is offset in part by the fact that last weekend’s opening was the 11th largest in history.

Regardless, the ticket sales were enough to easily reduce new releases Firestarter (Universal Pictures) and Roadside Attractions’ Family Camp. The former is projected to generate $3.8 million in revenue across 2,412 screens — a tally undermined in part by the fact the horror film is concurrently streaming for free in the Peacock platform. Faith-based comedy Family Camp realized $1.4 million in ticket sales across 854 screens.

Among returning theatrical releases, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s former box office polesitter, The Bad Guys, added another $6.9 million in revenue to bring its North American tally to $66.2 million after four weekends. The movie now has $165.5 million worth of tickets worldwide.

Lionsgate’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent took in an estimated $1.05 million at 1,076 screens in North America.  Through Sunday, the film has grossed an estimated $18.2 million in North America.

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Weekend Box Office: More ‘Doctor Strange 2’ in the Multiverse of Ticket Sales

After a blowout opening weekend, can Disney/Marvel Studios’ sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sustain its box office mojo?

Absolutely it can.

With Universal Pictures’ horror drama Firestarter ($5.3 million projected) as the weekend’s lone new release (and streaming day-and-date on Peacock) along with Roadside Attractions’ Family Camp ($2.4 million), the second “Doctor Strange” film should have little problem dominating the North American box office despite a projected 60% drop in ticket sales. The movie could approach $300 million in total North American ($600 million globally) revenue through May 15.

Other weekend holdovers include Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys, with another $7.4 million in projected ticket sales. Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with $4.9 million, A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once ($3.3 million), and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore ($3.1 million).

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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.

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Opens with $185 Million Blockbuster Weekend

Disney/Marvel Studios’ sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness didn’t disappoint, generating a projected $185 million in North America ticket sales across more than 4,500 screens through Mother’s Day (May 8). Globally, the superhero actioner collected a whopping $450 million, and the second-highest North American opening since the pandemic began behind the $260 million generated by Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home last December.

Starring Bennedict Cumberbatch in the title role, Doctor Strange 2 dominated North American ticket sales, grabbing 84% of all revenue. The imbalance left the rest of the theatrical slate with slim pickings. Universal Pictures’ animated release The Bad Guys is expected to generate almost $10 million in its third weekend, bringing the domestic total past $57 million.

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Paramount Pictures’ sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 added a projected $6.2 million to up its North American total to $170 million, and $350 million globally after five weekends. Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore added almost $4 million to up its domestic total to $86 million ($339 million worldwide) after four weekends.

Lionsgate’s Nicolas Cage comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent took in an estimated $1.52 million across 1,331 screens in North America. Through Sunday, the film has grossed an estimated $16.38 million in North America.

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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