Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has worked wonders on moviegoers over the weekend and opened a portal to a magical $185 million debut at the domestic box office, marking the second time a film had a million-dollar opening during the pandemic.
The new Marvel Cinematic Universe installment stands behind Spider-Man: No Way Home at $260 million debut, which keeps the top rank as the largest pandemic opening. Although Doctor Strange matches no Spider-Man, he has beaten Batman.
According to Comscore, Multiverse of Madness snatched The Batman’s ($134 million) formerly held title as the largest domestic opening in 2022 thus far.
Benedict Cumberbatch returns to his character as the titular Sorcerer Supreme in the sequel directed by Sam Raimi. When Stephen Strange makes a forbidden spell that unlocks a portal to a different universe that also brings different versions of himself, humanity becomes at risk.
Also reprising their roles from the 2016 Doctor Strange are Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Patrick Stewart, Xochitl Gomez, and Rachel McAdams. The film is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the 28th film in the MCU, written by Michael Waldron.
Director and co-writer Scott Derrickson already planned for a sequel by October 2016. And in December 2018, he inked the contract to come back as director after Cumberbatch confirmed his reprisal of the role.
After a few months, they revealed the movie’s title as well as Olsen’s inclusion in the film. Jade Halley Bartlett was then recruited to write the film that October. However, Derrickson bowed out as a filmmaker in January 2020, pointing out a creative gap.
Waldron and Raimi then joined in the next month and started over. Both included elements of the horror genre that Raimi had taken on a job previously, making Wanda Maximoff the villain of the movie as a continuation of her story from WandaVision (2021).
The film’s production started in November 2020 in London. However, it temporarily stopped in January 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed in March 2021 and ended in mid-April in Somerset. Other places where the shooting took place are Surrey and Los Angeles.
Multiverse of Madness premiered on May 2, 2022, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and was released in the United States on May 6 under Phase Four of the MCU.
It became the third highest-grossing film globally in 2022 at $450 million. The film garnered positive feedback from critics, who complimented Raimi’s directorial performance, visual effects, musical score, and cast performances (specifically Cumberbatch, Olsen, and Gomez). But the pacing was given a few criticisms.
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