Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Conjures Up $185 Million Opening Weekend

Given how often the Sanctum Sanctorum sustains damage, no one is willing to offer Doctor Strange building insurance any more — so it's just as well that "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is raking in lots of money. Per Variety, the good doctor's latest adventure has scored a $185 million opening weekend, overtaking "The Batman" ($134 million) as the biggest box office debut of 2022 so far.

Just as Doctor Strange travels the multiverse (with a little help from America Chavez), so too did the success of "Multiverse of Madness" travel overseas. The movie has thus far grossed $265 million from 49 overseas territories, bringing its current worldwide total to $450 million. It's not expected to release in China (due to increasingly restrictive demands from the Chinese government) or in Russia (for obvious reasons), which eliminates the biggest box office market worldwide along with the sixth biggest market. But based on its performance so far, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is on a clear path to success, and should easily end up ranking as one of the highest-grossing movies of the year.

Welcome to the multiverse

It's no surprise that "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has landed so big at the box office. Eagerness to avoid spoilers and to get in on the ground floor of discussion means that opening weekends for Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have become a major event. Moreover, the movie picks up threads from the end of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which grossed an absolutely staggering $1.892 billion at the worldwide box office last year. The return of Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man in that film led many to revisit Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" movie trilogy, and with Raimi in the director's chair for "Multiverse of Madness," anticipation for his return to superhero cinema was very high.

Doctor Strange also played a pivotal role in the plot of "No Way Home," and in many ways "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is more of a sequel to the most recent "Spider-Man" movie than it is to 2016's "Doctor Strange" (Doctor Strange has been through a lot since the credits rolled on that one, including being turned to dust for five years).

Next up in the MCU is "Thor: Love and Thunder," which will feature the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster — and her debut as Mighty Thor. That movie arrives in theaters on July 8, 2022, and the success of "Multiverse of Madness" bodes well for it as cinema continues to emerge from the difficult last few years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is in theaters now.