It’s been nearly six years since Benedict Cumberbatch debuted as Doctor Stephen Strange. 2016’s Doctor Strange seems like just a touchstone of the master magician’s impact on the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Cumberbatch has appeared as Marvel’s premiere wizard three times since his first and only solo venture: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
At long last, a proper sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, hits theaters (exclusively) on May 6. This comes off the heels of one of the most successful films of all-time, Spider-Man: No Way Home. The Tom Holland threequel grossed the sixth highest worldwide total ever ($1.89 billion) and the third most at the domestic box office ($804.4 million). Multiverse of Madness won’t reach the heights of No Way Home, but it does promise to be another multiversal adventure with surprises that’ll draw big audience reactions.
Before his solo sequel, a quick trip down memory lane is in order. Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derickson, grossed $232.6 million domestically and totaled $677.8 million worldwide. It opened at $85 million domestically, the 19th highest total in MCU history. In other words, Strange did adequate its first time in theaters, especially for a brand new character for the silver screen. It set the studio up for much bigger paydays down the line. One global pandemic later, that day has arrived.
Doctor Strange 2 Set to Smash the Box Office
Sequels normally generate more box office success than their predecessors in the MCU. For Multiverse of Madness, it will be the same, and likely one of the more significant improvements at the box office at that. Something to keep in mind with this release is that it is the first Marvel Studios release in May since 2019 (technically 2017, Infinity War and Endgame were released in late April). May is normally the month allocated to Marvel’s biggest releases of the year, kicking off the summer season.
A major factor in why Multiverse of Madness will be a smash hit is that it is essentially a sequel to three separate projects: Doctor Strange, WandaVision, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Keeping fans invested through multiple projects is possibly Marvel Studios’ greatest strength. The film will continue the more personal Stephen Strange story from the 2016 origin, pick up on Wanda Maximoff’s journey as the newly awakened Scarlet Witch, and deal with the direct ramifications of Strange’s spell-casting in No Way Home.
Indirectly, the events of Loki could have a huge impact on Multiverse of Madness. Not only was the Disney+ series about the God of Mischief, but it was also fans’ first look at the Multiverse in the MCU. Uncoincidentally, the two projects share the same …….