Why Doctor Strange 2’s Box Office Had Such A Massive Drop (Is It Bad?)

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!,Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reported one of the highest second-week box office drops in the MCU, but this isn’t necessarily a cause for concern for Marvel. Directed by
Spider-Man‘s Sam Raimi,
Doctor Strange 2 picks up in the MCU Phase 4 to continue its exploration of the Multiverse with the powerful America Chavez, Stephen Strange, and Scarlet Witch, but this time in a much more horrifying manner. The novel tone of
Doctor Strange 2 contributed to its mixed reviews from audiences and critics, with many divided about the movie’s balance of the MCU’s lore and Raimi’s much darker vision.,While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop in predicted box office numbers for many MCU Phase 4 movies, the worries of financial success in theaters were largely ended when 2021’s
Spider-Man: No Way Home earned nearly $2 billion, now standing as the sixth-highest-grossing movie of all time. Since
Doctor Strange 2 is the first MCU film to release since
No Way Home, the Benedict Cumberbatch-led venture had high expectations for performance at the box office. Sam Raimi’s first MCU movie exceeded projections for its opening weekend, where it earned $187 million to become the seventh-highest domestic box office opening in the MCU.,Related: Do The X-Men Exist In The Avengers Universe After Doctor Strange 2?,Despite setting records in its opening weekend, the performance of
Doctor Strange 2 the following weekend marked one of the MCU’s biggest second-weekend box office drops of all time. While a drop is always expected,
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may be on a much slower road to reaching the $1 billion mark from its current haul of $688 million. The reasons behind
Doctor Strange 2’s massive box office drop have been heavily debated since the end of its second weekend, but the fall in performance may not actually signal trouble for the MCU.,After boasting one of the best worldwide debuts of all time,
Doctor Strange 2’s second-weekend performance reported one of the worst box office drops of the MCU. Despite still holding the number one spot at the box office,
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness saw a 67% dip in sales for its second weekend. Compared to its $187 million debut,
Doctor Strange 2’s following weekend only raked in another $61 million, bringing its domestic 10-day total to approximately $291 million.,Doctor Strange 2 now has the third-highest second-week box office drop in MCU history after
Spider-Man: No Way Home (67.5%) and
Black Widow (67.8%). Interestingly,
No Way Home boasts the second-highest MCU box office performance of all time, while
Black Widow is notable for having one of the lowest, putting Doctor Strange 2 in a unique place for the MCU’s theatrical drop history. For reference, a typical second-weekend drop for the MCU would be found around the 56% mark, with the lowest second-weekend dip of the franchise being held by
Black Panther at only 44.7%. More recent MCU movies have also seen fairly significant dips at the box office, with
Avengers: Endgame falling at 59%,
Captain Marvel at 55%, and
Eternals at 61%. However, 2021’s
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings saw only a 53% decrease in its second-weekend box office sales, which was better than most MCU movies.,Similar to why
Spider-Man: No Way Home holds one of the highest second-weekend box office drops in MCU history, the Illuminati-featuring 
Doctor Strange 2’s decline was largely a product of its massive opening weekend haul. The majority of MCU movies with the typical 55% decline had significantly smaller box office openings, meaning they had a far lower height to fall from. As such, with
Doctor Strange 2 boasting one of the highest MCU openings of all time, it was inevitable to see a fairly high drop in its second weekend. While earning $187 million in
Doctor Strange 2’s debut set records, bringing in $67 million in a second weekend is still a highly respectable box office number, even for MCU movies.,Related: Everything We Know About Doctor Strange 3,However,
Doctor Strange 2 also debuted to mixed reviews, with its divisive audience reactions being apt to turn away prospective viewers in its second weekend. For those who didn’t show up for the
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast’s opening, it would be much less enticing to buy a ticket the second weekend if the split in reactions suggests it isn’t a necessary or urgent theatrical viewing. The division also indicates that far fewer audience members will turn out for repeat viewings, which helped prolong
Spider-Man: No Way Home’s outrageous box office performance. Word of mouth can make or break a movie in its second weekend, which is part of why
Shang-Chi has the lowest box office drop of the MCU Phase 4 movies.,On the other hand,
Spider-Man: No Way Home’s word of mouth couldn’t have been more positive, yet it still saw a monumental drop in its second-weekend box office performance. Compared to
No Way Home and
Black Widow,
Doctor Strange 2 is also in a unique position where audiences understand that it will drop on Disney+ for free in a few months.
No Way Home’s Disney+ debut is far more complex and undetermined, so audiences were required to return to theaters in subsequent months for repeat viewings, which isn’t the case for
Doctor Strange 2. Similarly,
Black Widow was also available simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access for an additional cost, so audiences had immediate online access after initial theatrical viewings.,Considering
Doctor Strange 2 marked one of the highest MCU debuts of all time, Marvel no doubt expected a high second-weekend drop parallel to 
No Way Home’s decrease.
Spider-Man: No Way Home’s drop was even worse than
Doctor Strange 2’s, yet it still stands as one of the most financially successful movies of all time.
No Way Home is also a massive success story for the MCU while holding two seemingly opposing records for the franchise at the box office; the second-highest-grossing film and second-highest second-weekend drop.
Doctor Strange 2 already outperformed the original
Doctor Strange movie after its second weekend, with the MCU film featuring Scarlet Witch’s death still on its way to becoming one of the most successful installments in the franchise. Had
Doctor Stange 2’s box office drop been preceded by a mediocre opening, it would have been a cause for concern comparable to
Black Widow. However, since Sam Raimi’s movie already holds several box office records after its second weekend, it isn’t a bad sign for the MCU’s theatrical future.,So far,
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has made over $688 million worldwide, which means it needs about $312 million more to cross the $1 billion mark.
Doctor Strange 2 already holds the highest opening of 2022 and is only $100 million behind
The Batman’s total earnings to make it the highest-grossing film of the year so far. However, considering its staggering second-weekend drop and unconvincing word of mouth about 
Doctor Strange 2‘s ending, the movie is expected to top its box office earnings at approximately $925-950 million, putting it just below its previous $1 billion forecasts (via
Deadline). However, had China and Russia been included in
Doctor Strange 2‘s box office earnings, this number would have inevitably been much higher. This would make
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness the eleventh-highest-grossing MCU movie behind
Captain Marvel and would place it as the most successful movie of 2022 so far.,Next: Doctor Strange 2’s Post-Credits Scenes Explained (They’re Both Important)