Despite Getting One Of The Lowest Audience Scores In The MCU, “Doctor Strange 2” Made A Ton Of Money This Weekend
Since this weekend was Mother’s Day, I would have assumed the hottest ticket in town was an off-off-off Broadway show called Brunch! or, Do You Ever Wear That Smart-Looking Sweater I Gave You Dear?. As it turns out, it was Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (aka Doctor Strange 2). A whole lot of people went to see Benedict Cumberbatch do his best superhero voice in a fancy red cape and Paulie Walnuts hair, but some of those same people might describe Doctor Strange 2 as more of a Doctor Stinker #2, if you ask them.
According to Movieweb, Doctor Strange 2 currently holds the second-lowest rating of any film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on CinemaScore.com. It currently holds a B+ rating. And almost every other movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe holds an A or better grade. The B students are Doctor Strange 2, Thor (also with a B+), and the lowest-rated title, Eternals, which holds the lowest rating, a B. Not a huge shock, when you remember that the reviews for Eternals were essentially the written equivalent of a person doing that unenthusiastic flip-floppy hand gesture.
But, the grades given on CinemaScore aren’t based on the critical reception of the film. CinemaScore collects reviews from audience members as they leave the film, then assigns it an average grade. And over at Rotten Tomatoes, it currently holds an average Tomatometer review of 75% (although it does have an audience score of 87%). To compare that to Eternals, their Rotten Tomatoes scores are a dismal 47% rotten with an audience score of 78%.
Let’s face it though, those aren’t the numbers the people at Big Marvel care about. They care about the money. According to Deadline, the official numbers aren’t in, but Disney has estimated that Doctor Strange 2 brought in $185 million this weekend. Others estimate the film took in closer to $194 or $197 million. Box Office Mojo is reporting Disney’s numbers, and they claim that Doctor Strange 2 brought in $450 million worldwide this weekend. The film was made for an estimated $200 million budget, so already it has made its alleged production costs back twice over.
Deadline also notes that Doctor Strange 2‘s opening weekend broke a few records too. It is currently the titleholder for the best pandemic opening weekend for a Disney movie, and it’s the second-best opening weekend of the COVID-19 era, just a couple million behind Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s a good thing Disney has made so much money off of Doctor Strange 2 in such a short time. They can use that money when the audience members file a class-action lawsuit against them for making a movie so violent and damaging to their poor little brains. Yes, that’s a big criticism of Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange 2; that it’s too horrifying for its PG-13 rating.
⚠️⚠️ #DoctorStrange CONTENT WARNING (No Spoilers) ⚠️⚠️
Please, please do not watch this movie in theaters if you have a low tolerance for horror, jumpscares, body horror, gore, and so on. There are deaths that are so gruesome that they should have warranted an R-rating.
— Emi 🌱 FFXIV Shadowbringers (@oldkasuto) May 6, 2022
Sam Raimi is responsible for Evil Dead 2, which I assume is in the Horror Movie Hall of Fame. But there’s no way Disney let him go full Evil Dead 2 in a superhero movie. Still, apparently, some audience members are traumatized. Maybe Disney should throw a warning at the beginning of Doctor Strange 2. Something that reads: “This movie might mess with you mentally. Not as much as watching Simba’s dad die, because that’s the gold standard of Disney deaths, but it’s still pretty intense.”