While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness went past the $800 million global benchmark, the good news for Hollywood was that Downtown Abbey: A New Era earned a solid $16 million and placed second.
The weekend debut figures of Downtown Abbey 2, although not spectacular, were welcome signs that older moviegoers, especially women, are finally returning to the cineplexes. The return of the aristocratic Crawleys fared much better among the 40+ aged audience, compared to films geared toward the same demographics in the pandemic period: West Side Story, No Time to Die, and The Last Duel.
Directed by Simon Curtis and written again by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey 2 finds the Crawleys dealing with a movie crew on their estate and a family trip to the South of France.
Back to Doctor Strange 2, Benedict Cumberbatch’s return as the surgeon-turned-superhero easily topped the domestic charts since a certain maverick pilot will not fly in till next week. The MCU epic picked up $31.6 million which added to the movie’s $342 million North American grosses so far.
The sequel may have a chance to join Tom Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home in hitting the $1 billion benchmark.
Two animated films, Sam Rockwell and Awkwafina’s The Bad Guys and Jim Carrey and James Marsden’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2 continued their winning ways. The Bad Guys took $6.1 million to rank third. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 raked in $3.9 million and landed fourth.
A new release, Men, writer-director Alex Garland’s drama/horror/sci-fi, could only draw $3.2 million and settled for fifth place. The tale about a young woman who embarks on vacation following her ex-husband’s death stars Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, Paapa Essiedu, Gayle Rankin, Sarah Twomey, Zak Rothera-Oxley, and Sonoya Mizuno.
Everything Everywhere All at Once took in $3.1 million and grabbed the sixth slot. With its $52 million earnings so far, Michelle Yeoh’s multiverse film became A24’s biggest hit domestically and dethroned Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems.
The film, a victory for movies with diverse casts and which could encourage more projects with POC in lead roles, also stars Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Harry Shum Jr.
Making up the rest of the top ten were, in order: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, $1.85 million; Firestarter, $1.73 million; The Lost City, $1.55 million (the Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum hit may cross the $100 million milestone soon); and The Northman, $1 million.
Overseas, Doctor Strange 2 also reigned, with $40 million. Even without release plays in China and Russia, the Sam Raimi-directed movie has amassed $461.1 million in the offshore box office market.
The blockbuster stayed strong in many countries, including Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Korea.
Two films also celebrated milestones internationally. Mark Wahlberg, Tom Holland, and Antonio Banderas’ Uncharted reached the $400 million benchmark while The Bad Guys did well by crossing the $100 million mark.