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Doctor Strange 2 earns $800 million, second biggest earner in pandemic era after Spider-Man: No Way Home – Entrendz Showbizz

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Doctor Strange and his multiverse got to linger a little longer atop the weekend box office as Tom Cruise and Top Gun wait in the wings. Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was the top-earning film of the weekend for the third straight week, bringing in $31.6 million in 4,534 North American theaters, according to studio estimates released Sunday.

It finished on Sunday with $803.2 million in worldwide ticket sales. This makes it the No. 2 Hollywood film of the pandemic era behind Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1.89 billion). It had earlier surpassed No Time to Die ($774.2 million) and The Batman ($768.5 million).

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Downtown Abbey: A New Era made a strong opening showing for Focus Features with $16 million from 3,820 theaters, but there has been no real blockbuster competition for Doctor Strange.

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“This film has had a pretty wide open marketplace,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “This weekend really is, this is the proverbial calm before the storm.”

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That storm will come in the form of the long-awaited, and long-delayed, release of Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel that arrives next week on Memorial Day weekend, 36 years after the original smash hit and cultural landmark.

It flies in amid sky-high hype.

“The marketing for this movie has really been going on for about three years.” Dergarabedian said. “That’s a pretty long runway to guild up excitement.”

Tom Cruise had the film festival in Cannes, France, abuzz on Wednesday with a whirlwind appearance for the film’s European premiere that included a fly over of French fighter jets and an honorary Palme d’Or award.

Top Gun represents two seemingly fading phenomena — the major movie star and the big-screen-only experience, for which Cruise has been a tireless ambassador. And the industry is hoping they will help bring a more familiar summer for theaters.

“This is going to be one of the most important Memorial Day weekends ever, considering what the stakes are,” Dergarabedian said. “We didn’t have a traditional summer movie season for two years.”

Before the pandemic, the summer box office season generally brought in more than $4 billion annually. After an essentially non-existent 2020, the 2021 take, in a year of recovery, was $1.75 billion. This year’s crop of films, which also includes Jurassic World Dominion and Thor: Love and Thunder, could double that, Dergarabedian said.

But while the world waits, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness crossed the $800 million mark in global grosses, surpassing The Batman to become the top-grossing film of the year.

Released by the Walt Disney Co. and directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange 2 benefitted from being the first Marvel movie to follow Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer played a pivotal role.

It also builds upon the popular Disney+ series Wandavision and contains a number of cameos that fans didn’t want to be spoiled.

Holdover family films The Bad Guys and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 took the third and fourth spots. Universal’s The Bad Guys added $6.1 million in its fifth week. Sonic 2 earned $3.9 million in its seventh.

Director Alex Garland’s folk horror thriller Men brought in $3.3 million for production company and distributor A24.

Meanwhile, Everything Everywhere All At Once is still going strong even after nine weeks in release. The A24 film picked up an additional $3.3 million, down only 6% from the previous weekend, bringing its total grosses to $47 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, $31.6 million.

2. Downtown Abbey: A New Era, $16 million.

3. The Bad Guys, $6.1 million.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, $3.9 million.

5. Men, $3.3 million.

6. Everything Everywhere All At Once, $3.1 million.

7. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, $1.9 million.

8. Firestarter, $1.9 million.

9. The Lost City, $1.5 million.

10. The Northman, $1 million.

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