‘Doctor Strange’ remains at the top of the box office as ‘Top Gun’ soars – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Doctor Strange and his multiverse will have to last a little longer at the top of the weekend box office as Tom Cruise and “Top Gun” await ahead.

Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was the weekend’s highest-grossing film for the third week in a row, grossing $31.6 million in 4,534 North American theaters, according to studio estimates released Sunday.

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

“This film has a fairly wide open market,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “This weekend really, it’s the saying calm before the storm.”

The storm will come in the form of the long-awaited, and long-overdue release of “Top Gun: Maverick,” a sequel arriving next week on Memorial Day weekend, 36 years after the original’s smash hit and cultural landmark.

It was flying amidst the sky-high hype.

“Marketing for this film has literally been going on for about three years.” Dergarabedian said. “That’s a pretty long runway to put together the excitement.”

Cruise held the film festival in Cannes, France, on Wednesday with a stunning performance for the film’s European premiere that included a French fighter jet flight and an honorary Palme d’Or award.

“Top Gun” represents two seemingly fading phenomena – the mainstream movie star and the big screen-only experience, in which Cruise has been a tireless ambassador. And the industry hopes they will help bring about a more intimate summer for the theater.

“This is going to be one of the most important Memorial Day weekends, given what’s at stake,” Dergarabedian said. “We didn’t have a traditional summer film season for two years.”

Prior to the pandemic, the summer box office season generally brought in more than $4 billion a year. After a basically non-existent 2020, the 2021 take, in one year of recovery, is $1.75 billion. This year’s film results, which also include “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Thor: Love and Thunder,” could double that, Dergarabedian said.

But while the world waited, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” surpassed the $800 million mark in global revenue, surpassing “The Batman” to become the highest-grossing film of the year.

Released by the Walt Disney Co. and directed by Sam Raimi, “Doctor Strange 2” benefits as the first Marvel film to follow “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” in which the wizard Benedict Cumberbatch plays a key role.

It also builds on the popular Disney+ series “Wandavision” and contains a number of cameos that fans don’t want to spoil.

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

Director Alex Garland’s folk horror thriller “Men” earned $3.3 million for production company and distributor A24.

Meanwhile, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is still holding out even after nine weeks of release. The film A24 earned an additional $3.3 million, down just 6% from the previous weekend, bringing its total gross to $47 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday in 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 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. “Northern,” $1 million.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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