‘Doctor Strange 2’ Rules Again In Its Sophomore Weekend With $61 Million, ‘Firestarter’ Fizzles
A week after storming multiplexes with a superheroic $185 million domestic bow, Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness picked up right where it left off, grossing an additional $61 million over its second weekend in North America. Not surprisingly, rival studios for the most part chose to steer clear of Marvel’s latest box-office behemoth—all except for Universal, which unveiled its Zac Efron-led remake of the 1984 Stephen King adaptation, Firestarter, and failed to produce any sparks in the marketplace, bowing to a truly scary $3.8 million.

While Benedict Cumberbatch’s smash sorcery sequel certainly lured enough ticket buyers to keep popcorn moving at a brisk clip, the weekend couldn’t help but have a quiet-after-the-storm feeling to it in the wake of the previous frame’s record-shattering roll out during which the latest MCU installment instantly became the biggest box-office debut of 2022. In its sophomore session, the PG-13-rated tentpole slipped -67%, but still managed to score a $13,454 per-screen average at 4,534 locations. That second week dip was slightly steeper than those of other recent Marvel titles such as Eternals (-61%) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (-52%). However, Doctor Strange 2 is still putting up dazzling numbers. The film has now taken in $291.9 million domestically, which already eclipses the $232.6 million that the first Doctor Strange racked up during its entire North American run. Overseas, the Marvel movie is doing even better, grossing $396.2 million in its first two weeks alone. Its current worldwide tally now stands at $688.1 million.

Finishing in the runner-up spot again was Universal’s The Bad Guys with $6.9 million. In its fourth weekend, the PG-rated animated comedy about a gang of animal thieves who struggle to become model citizens dropped -27.9% from the previous session, managed a $1,821 per-screen average in 3,788 theaters. The movie, which features the voices of Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Zazie Beetz, Craig Robinson, and Awkwafina, has now pulled in a combined $66.3 million domestically and another $99.3 from overseas, bringing it global box-office cume to $165.6 million.

Repeating its third-place finish was Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which took in $4.6 million in its sixth weekend. The sequel fell -24.4% from the previous session, scoring a $1,460 per-screen average at 3,116 locations. The PG-rated follow-up to 2020’s franchise-starter, which features Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and the voice of Ben Schwartz as the blue critter of the title, has now wrangled $175.7 million in North America. Internationally, where Sonic 2 bowed a week earlier, the film has pulled in $179.5 million so far, putting its current worldwide tally at $355.2 million.

In fourth was the weekend’s only newcomer, Universal’s Stephen King-based chiller Firestarter with a barely flickering $3.8 million. The R-rated remake of the supernatural 1984 Drew Barrymore flick about a young girl with pyrotechnic abilities (starring Zac Efron as the girl’s dad this time around), flamed out upon arrival. The movie, which fared poorly with critics (currently sitting with 12% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (who gave it a woeful ‘C-‘ grade from CinemaScore), earned a $1,119 per-screen average in 3,412 theaters. It didn’t generate much more heat overseas, where it debuted to just under $2.1 million. Its first-week global cume is $5.9 million. Ouch. Universal’s decision to make the film simultaneously available on its Peacock streaming service certainly didn’t help draw potentially curious genre fans out of their homes to see the film either. As an additional gauge of just how underwhelming the film’s bow was, consider this: the 1984 original made more money in its opening weekend ($4.7 million) nearly 40 years ago—and that’s not even adjusted for inflation.

Rounding out the top five was A24’s deliriously bizarre, word-of-mouth indie hit Everything Everywhere All at Once with $3.3 million. In its eighth week of release, the R-rated sci-fi mindbender saw business slip just -6.4%, earning a $1,913 per-screen average at 1,726 locations. Spring’s “little movie that could” has raked in $47.1 domestically and a more modest $4.7 million from abroad, putting its current global cume at $47.1 million.

Elsewhere in the top 10, Roadside Attractions’ Family Camp debuted in ninth place with $1.4 million. The outdoorsy comedy about a pair of mismatched families sharing a cabin in the wilderness finally answered the age-old question: if a movie set in the woods falls and no one is around to hear it does it make any noise? The PG-rated film’s $1,670 per-screen average in 854 theaters seemed to provide the verdict: no, not really.