'Doctor Strange' Rings Up $185M From US Weekend Box Office

Zinger Key Points
  • “Doctor Strange” grossed $265 million from 49 overseas markets.
  • China still maintains its blacklist on Marvel Cinematic Universe titles.

The Walt Disney Co. DIS recaptured the U.S. box office this weekend with a vengeance as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” generated $185 million in ticket sales for its premiere engagement.

What Happened: The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe feature, “Doctor Strange” opened in 4,534 theaters and steamrolled the big screen competition – the weekend’s second most popular film, the animated romp “The Bad Guys” from Comcast Corp.’s CMCSA Universal Pictures, trailed “Doctor Strange” with $9.7 million from 3,839 screens.

Outside of the U.S. “Doctor Strange” grossed $265 million from 49 territories – excluding China, which is still maintaining its blacklist on Marvel Cinematic Universe titles.

Rounding out the top five films at the U.S. weekend box office were Paramount’s PARAA “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” with $6.2 million from 3,358 venues, Warner Bros.’ WBD “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” with $3.95 million from 3,051 theaters, and A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” with $3.3 million from 1,542 screens.

What Happens Next: The biggest film being lined up for the coming weekend is “Firestarter,” a new version of the Stephen King book that was made into a popular 1984 movies. This version stars Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong and Sydney Lemmon and will have a simultaneous theatrical release via Universal Pictures and a streaming premiere on Peacock.

Another double-track release is planned for the romantic thriller “Private Property” from Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF-A), which will have a limited theatrical run and a simultaneous video-on-demand presentation.

Also playing in limited release is Vertical Entertainment’s comedy “Tankhouse” about a New York couple opening a theatrical company in North Dakota, IFC Midnight’s Norwegian supernatural thriller “The Innocents,” and Sony Pictures Classics’ SONY music documentary “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story.”

Also Happening: Viewing movies outdoors is hardly a new concept – the first drive-in theater dates back to 1921 and many cities offer film screenings in parks during the summer. But the folks at Rooftop Cinema Club take the concept of open-air movies to a higher ground – literally, to the rooftops of commercial buildings in major cities.

The latest location to get the Rooftop Cinema Club treatment is Chicago’s Emily Hotel in the city’s West Town section. The Rooftop Cinema Club will offer daily screenings of classic films beginning on May 26 with the Chicago-lensed "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" – the series runs through July 4.

“I have long dreamed of bringing Rooftop Cinema Club to Chicago,” said Rooftop Cinema Club founder Gerry Cottle in an interview with NBC Chicago. “I’m confident Chicagoans will enjoy this cinematic experience, whether for a fun night with friends and family or a date night. We are so proud to be part of this city where so many iconic movies have been made.”

Photo: Benedict Cumberbatch in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” courtesy of Disney

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