SUNDAY UPDATE, writethru: Blasting past projections, Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness had a spellbinding weekend at the global and international box office. In 49 material offshore markets, the Benedict Cumberbatch/Elizabeth Olsen-starrer conjured $265M for an estimated $450M worldwide debut including domestic.
The $450M score is the 2nd biggest global start for a Hollywood movie during the pandemic era, and the fourth ever for the MCU, behind Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War and Spider-Man: No Way Home. In like-for-likes, it ranks as the No. 6 all-time global MPAA opener. Doctor Strange 2 further set a new IMAX box office record for May with $33M worldwide (the 5th best worldwide debut for Marvel in the format).
Internationally and on a like-for-like basis, the opening weekend on Doctor Strange 2 is only 17% behind that of Spider-Man: No Way Home, 126% above The Batman and 160% over the original Doctor Strange pic.
Across the board, Stephen Strange & Co took No. 1 bows and set several milestones including the highest opening weekend of the pandemic in Korea at $30M.
Korea leads all offshore play, followed by the UK ($24.7M), Mexico ($21.5M), Brazil ($16.3M), India ($12.7M), Australia ($12.6M), Germany ($12M), France ($11M), Japan ($9.4M) and Italy ($9M).
As we reported on Saturday (see below), that the Sam Raimi-directed installment was coming in ahead of pre-weekend projections is not a huge surprise. Stratospheric numbers like these are not an exact science and remain challenging to wrangle with some markets still in a state of flux. To wit, Korea which we noted would be a swing, has been in the doldrums for some time, only recently getting energized over No Way Home and now Doctor Strange. This is also the one market where the social score was lower than on the first DS, but audiences turned up in droves.
Also notable overall, higher-priced 3D and PLF showings saw pretty staggering turnout as those levels return to pre-pandemic times. Included in the global IMAX milestones noted above is $15M from 350 screens in 68 markets, the best overseas debut ever in May and the 4th biggest for a Marvel title (3rd highest if China box office is removed from the comps). In total, 48 of 68 markets logged Top 10 IMAX openings of all time this weekend, with 31 of those in the Top 5. Also internationally, 11% of box office across the Asia-Pacific region was from 3D; in the UK, 3D or other PLFs accounted for 17% while France was 24% and Germany 50%. Across Latin America, 25% of box office came from 3D, led by Brazil at 46%.
There are two clear weeks ahead for DSITMOM before Top Gun: Maverick takes flight, giving the movie plenty of runway.
Looking at some other highlights, DS2 had the No. 4 biggest industry opening weekend ever in India, the 5th best in Malaysia and the 6th best in Korea (including previews).
Across all markets releasing, the movie landed on the Top 10 all-time industry opening weekend charts in Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Central America, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Turkey, India (Hollywood titles), Malaysia and Philippines.
And, along with Korea, it scored the biggest pandemic-era opening weekend in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore (w/previews), Romania, Chile and Trinidad. The 2nd best pandemic starts came in Australia, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico as well as Hong Kong, India (Hollywood titles), Indonesia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Netherlands, UAE, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, South Africa, Bulgaria, Latvia, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Central America, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Elsewhere, Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore added $10.8M in 74 markets for an overseas cume to date of $277.7M. The global tally is $363.8M. The Top 5 markets are Japan ($32.3M), Germany ($27.4M), UK ($25.5M), China ($24.6M) and France ($20.5M).
Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2 ran up another $8.2M from 61 markets for an offshore cume of $179.5M. The overseas drop was 41%. Global stands at $349.4M. Markets still to open include Hong Kong on July 21 and Japan on August 19.
In its sophomore session, Focus/Universal’s Downton Abbey: A New Era served up another $6.6M in 42 markets, to cume $22.3M offshore so far. The overall drop was a good 38% as the sequel acted as counterprogramming to Doctor Strange. In the UK, Downton 2 is nearly at $10M having held No. 1 all week until the Marvel sorcerer debuted and landing No. 2 for the weekend. Germany and Australia dipped by just 23% and 24%, respectively. The Top 5 market cumes to date are the UK ($9.8M), Australia ($2.3M), France ($2M), Germany ($1.5M) and the Netherlands ($1.3M). China, Japan and North America are still on deck for the Crawleys.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys is nearing $100M overseas, now at $90.6M from 64 markets. The global total is $148.1M. This weekend saw a 43% dip internationally to $7.2M. Korea was a new play with $1.93M in second place behind Doctor Strange. The performance was in line with Encanto. Meanwhile, despite the difficult market conditions in China, Bad Guys was No. 1 this session and surpassed the lifetime of Encanto, reaching a cume of $14.3M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Lost City (PAR): $5.4M intl weekend (57 markets); $68.4M intl cume/$162.8M global
The Northman (UNI): $2.2M Intl weekend (45 markets); $23.5M intl cume/$51.6M global
SATURDAY UPDATE: Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is having a crazy ride at the international box office, now at $139.3M through Friday and headed to $230M+ through Sunday overseas. The global total with Friday’s domestic start included is already $229.3M. The sequel is looking to cast a $400M+ spell worldwide for the full weekend.
Current estimates have the first three days offshore at just 17% below Spider-Man: No Way Home, 180% ahead of The Batman and +207% above the first Doctor Strange on a like-for-like basis.
International markets are holding fast and setting new records. Friday added five more hubs to take the total to 49. India debuted the Sam Raimi-directed pic at $4.3M for No. 1 and the fourth-highest Hollywood launch day of all time. Spain’s No. 1 start of $2.5M is the best opening day of the pandemic and Turkey’s $700K set a benchmark for the top opening Friday in history.
That Doctor Strange is operating above pre-weekend projections is not a huge surprise, but it is being bolstered in part by strong numbers out of Latin America, which leans into horror and thus is embracing Raimi’s take on the sorcerer. To wit, Mexico ($11.6M) and Brazil ($7.7M) are through Friday the Nos. 3 and 4 overseas markets.
Korea, the swing as we noted coming into the frame, is also turning up. With Saturday’s estimates included it is now at $25M.
We’ll have more on Sunday, but for the meantime, here are the Top 10 performances through Friday: Korea ($19.6M), UK ($12M), Mexico ($11.6M), Brazil ($7.7M), Japan ($6.7M), France ($6.4M), Australia ($6.4M), Germany ($5M); Italy ($4.8M) and India ($4.3M).
FRIDAY UPDATE, Refresh for latest… Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continued casting a spell over the international box office on Thursday, lifting the running offshore cume to $85.7M through two days of release. Combined with Thursday’s $36M in domestic previews, the global total so far is already $121.7M — and the weekend has barely begun.
Overseas, the sequel added a further 24 markets on Thursday, bringing the total to 44 so far in release. Across the first two days offshore, the Sam Raimi-directed sequel is running just 12% below Spider-Man: No Way Home, 172% ahead of the original Doctor Strange and 197% above The Batman on a like-for-like basis.
New on Thursday were the UK, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Notable in the mix, Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer had a $6M UK opening day, bigger than No Time to Die, which also bowed on a Thursday. This is the third-highest launch day during the pandemic era and the biggest opening Thursday of 2022 in the market. The film garnered an 83% market share.
In Latin America, there were No. 1s across the board, with the film landing within the Top 10 of all-time debuts in several markets including Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Central America and Peru. Brazil at $5.1M was the second-highest opening day during the pandemic and the sixth-biggest in industry history. The market share was 93%. With $8M, Mexico logged the second-best opening day of the pandemic, ninth in history and had a 90% share.
In Asia-Pacific, all starts are No. 1. Indonesia had an incredible 99% market share with $1.6M. Australia banked $4M for the second-best launch day of the pandemic and has an 83% share of the market.
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Elsewhere, DSITMOM scored the second-best first day of the pandemic in the UAE, Israel, Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia. Market shares range from 70% to 93%.
Korea, which is a key hub on this title, leads all play through Thursday with $14.7M (including today, it is at $19.4M). Rounding out the Top 10 are Mexico ($8M), UK ($6M), Japan ($5.3M), Brazil ($5.1M), France ($4.5M), Australia ($4M), Italy ($3.3M), Germany ($2.9M) and Malaysia ($2.8M).
In Imax, Doctor Strange‘s international two-day total is $5M from 300 screens. All-time opening day records for the format were logged in the UAE, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (the first three had bigger debuts than Avengers: Endgame, while the latter topped Wonder Woman). Imax also set Wednesday-opening records in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
Korea posted the third-highest opening day ever for Imax on Wednesday, and then Thursday box office was 16% higher to land the biggest Imax Thursday ever in the market and the biggest Wednesday/Thursday Imax total for any film there — topping both Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War.
While China, Russia and parts of the Middle East will be sitting out Strange 2, markets still to come today include Spain, Poland, South Africa, Turkey and India.
We will continue to update throughout the weekend.
PREVIOUSLY, Thursday: Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness began offshore release on Wednesday in 20 markets and is already doing some crazy numbers. With $27.2M through yesterday, the first-day overall results are only 4% below Spider-Man: No Way Home and a staggering 153% ahead of the original 2016 Doctor Strange, as well as 210% ahead of The Batman on a like-for-like basis at today’s rates.
The Benedict Cumberbatch starrer bowed No. 1 across Asia Pacific; likewise for the European markets that have opened including France, Italy and Germany.
Market shares on the Sam Raimi-directed sequel are coming in above 60% and as high as 90%.
Previews, not included in the $27.2M to date reported above, are strong for the Sorcerer Supreme, including $3.5M in Mexico and $2.7M in Brazil and a total of $10.3M across the whole Latin America region. Despite only being previews, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was tops in all Latin American territories yesterday.
Meanwhile, as noted in our global preview, a key part of the international box office weekend is Korea which has been very soft of late amid caution about returning to cinemas. But the market is turning up in droves for the Doctor. The gross through Thursday, which is not reflected in the $27.2M total, is an estimated $14.7M. Today was a national public holiday for Children’s Day. On Wednesday, the film logged the second-highest opening day ever for a Disney release, behind only Avengers: Endgame.
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Looking more closely at the starts, here’s a rundown: Malaysia ($1.6M) scored the 2nd highest opening day in industry history; Thailand ($1.2M) logged the best opening day during the pandemic era; same for Philippines ($1.2M). Hong Kong and Vietnam notched the second-best opening day of the pandemic. In Japan, DS2 at $3.8M scored the No. 2 highest non-local opening day during the health crisis and repped the No. 3 best day one for any MCU release (behind Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: NWH).
In Europe, France ($3M) scored its second highest opening day during the pandemic era as did Italy ($2.2M) and Germany ($1.8M).
Excluding Thursday figures, the Top 5 Wednesday debut trips into the Multiverse are: Korea ($5.9M), Japan ($3.8M), France ($3M), Italy ($2.2M) and Germany ($1.8M).
Today sees further openings in the UK, Australia, Brazil and Mexico as well as Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Portugal, UAE, Indonesia, New Zealand, Argentina and all of the smaller Latin American territories.