Doctor Strange 2 Remains Champion Of The Box Office, But Downton Abbey: A New Era Puts Up Strong Numbers

Doctor Strange and America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

One of the biggest issues facing movie theaters right now is audience diversification. Clearly the demographics targeted by major superhero blockbusters are buying tickets en masse, but the key to rebuilding the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic is getting people of all ages to start attending screenings. And there is good news: a few weeks ago, Pierre Perifel's The Bad Guys proved to be a winner bringing pre-teens into multiplexes, and now Simon Curtis' Downton Abbey: A New Era has successfully lured older audiences back to the big screen.

Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (unsurprisingly) remains champion at the domestic box office, but there are some interesting numbers to scope out in the Top 10. Check out the chart below, and join me after for analysis!

Weekend Box Office Doctor Strange 2 May 20-22, 2022

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)
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1. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness$31,600,000 $342,080,485 14,534
2. Downton Abbey: A New Era*$16,020,000 $16,020,000 Row 1 - Cell 3 3,820
3. The Bad Guys$6,100,000 $74,365,375 23,705
4. Sonic The Hedgehog 2$3,940,114 $181,002,000 32,943
5. Men*$3,293,030 $3,293,030 Row 4 - Cell 3 2,212
6. Everything Everywhere All At Once$3,135,928 $52,263,484 51,576
7. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore$1,905,000 $93,066,161 61,923
8. Firestarter$1,900,000 $6,959,900 43,413
9. The Lost City$1,499,977 $99,267,000 81,396
10. The Northman$1,020,000 $33,041,330 71,263

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Wins Again As It Passes A Major Milestone At The International Box Office

If you've been even vaguely paying attention to goings-on in the movie world the past 14 years, it won't exactly knock you for a loop to learn that the latest feature release from the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to dominate at the box office. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness got off to a phenomenal fast start at the beginning of May – setting a new high bar for 2022 opening weekends by earning $185 million – and the money has continued to pour in ever since.

Weekend-to-weekend, Doctor Strange 2 only dipped 49 percent in its third Friday-to-Sunday (according to The Numbers), and it has added $31.6 million more to its impressive domestic total. To date, the movie has made $342.1 million in the United States and Canada, meaning that it is now just $27.2 million away from surpassing the total made by Matt Reeves' The Batman (the DC blockbuster has made $369.3 million to date).

The bigger picture only becomes rosier for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness when one looks at what the film has managed to accomplish internationally. More than 50 percent of the movie's global box office grosses have come from overseas, and the totals from the last three days have pushed the Marvel feature over $800 million worldwide. It is the first 2022 title to reach that milestone, as the aforementioned The Batman concluded its theatrical run by making $768 million).

Doctor Strange America Chavez and Christine Palmer in doctor strange in the multiverse of madness

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

So how do these new numbers change Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness' positioning in the box office rankings of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies? The answer is "significantly."

The Sam Raimi film has now made more money than what Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Homecoming earned in 2017 during its big screen run in the U.S. and Canada, and it is now the twelfth highest grossing title domestically. It's in 14th place on the worldwide chart, but it has outgrossed big hits including James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy and Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

It's also very likely that Doctor Strange 2 will ultimately become the most successful film that Sam Raimi has ever made. The new blockbuster has not yet outgrossed 2007's Spider-Man 3 (which made $894.9 million) or the original Spider-Man from 2002 ($821.7 million), but it actually has made more than 2004's Spider-Man 2 ($794.7 million).

There is definitely some significant box office competition for the Marvel Cinematic Universe title coming up in the form of Joseph Kosinski's much-hyped Top Gun: Maverick and Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World: Dominion, but there is expectation that the comic book movie will continue to see money rolling in.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Doesn't Outgross Its Predecessor, But Has An Impressive Showing

Since 2020, getting older audiences to go to the movies has proven to be a tricky proposition – one of the major factors being the dangers of COVID-19. Based on the opening weekend numbers for Downton Abbey: A New Era, it seems that the new movie had the pull it needed to get that key demographic into theaters. The film has made $16 million domestically since Friday, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, nearly half of people who have bought tickets are 55 or older.

Admittedly the numbers don't look quite as big when you consider the fact that Simon Curtis' first Downton Abbey movie made $31 million in its first three days of release in the United States and Canada, but that was back in 2019 when global circumstances were quite different. The $16 million it made ranks as the 12th best opening weekend of 2022 so far – surpassing the $12.3 million made by Kenneth Branagh's Death On The Nile in its debut back in February (another title targeting older audiences).

Of course, while Downton Abbey: A New Era premiered domestically on Friday, it has been in release internationally for weeks now, and it has sold a lot of tickets. Again, it's not going to reach the heights of its predecessor (which made nearly $200 million before it was done playing on the big screen), but it has made a solid $51.7 million so far. The movie has a reported production budget of $40 million (per Deadline), so we'll have to wait and see how profitable it will ultimately be.

Alex Garland's Men Squeezes Into The Top Five, Pushing Out Fellow A24 Release Everything Everywhere All At Once

The only other new wide release this past weekend was Alex Garland's Men, which successfully landed in the domestic Top 5 making $3.3 million in its first three days.  Clearly its not an overwhelming blockbuster success... but then again, that's not really the history with Garland's past work either (2015's Ex Machina only made $237,264 in its opening, and 2018's Annihilation brought in $11.1 million). How it will perform in the long run will be interesting, as both of those previous titles ended up showing legs and making over $38 million worldwide.

The bar for Men's success is lower, as it clearly had a much smaller budget than the writer/director's previous releases, and it may stick around for a minute. A24 has had surprising success in the horror genre, and this film still has a shot to perpetuate that reputation.

Coming up this week, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will see its reign at the top of the domestic box office challenged by two new big titles: Top Gun: Maverick and Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman's The Bob's Burgers Movie. How will they shake up the Top 10? Head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to find out, and get a look at the schedule ahead by checking out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.