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World Box Office: Sonic and Dumbledore Rule

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With Doctor Strange madness not starting until next weekend, it was quiet both domestically and internationally. But the overseas box office universe saw more action.

Globally, both Eddie Redmayne’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and Jim Carrey’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit the $300 million benchmark while Sam Rockwell’s The Bad Guys hit the $100 million milestone.

And Downton Abbey: A New Era, released earlier in the offshore market, opened with $9.3 million. Set in 1927, the second big-screen outing of the Crawleys, which sees them dealing with a film cast and crew on the Yorkshire estate and a trip to a villa in the south of France, debuted solidly in Australia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.

Fantastic Beasts 3, with Jude Law’s young Albus Dumbledore and Mads Mikkelsen replacing Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, continues to do better internationally. While the David Yates-directed installment is the lowest earner in the series, its $25.8 million gross overseas in more than 70 territories was enough for a number one finish.

So far, the JK Rowling-written addition to the Harry Potter universe has chalked up $250 million and $329.5 million overseas and worldwide earnings, respectively.

Also maintaining its momentum abroad was Sonic the Hedgehog 2 which took in $14.5 million, increasing its global ($323.5 million) and international ($162.6 million) totals.

The offshore market also stayed receptive toward Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s The Lost City ($10.5 million) and the adventure-comedy animation, The Bad Guys ($9 million).

Back in North America, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is already stirring a box office frenzy even before it bows on May 6.

Director Sam Raimi’s first Marvel Cinematic Universe film is generating the best ticket presales, even beating that of Robert Pattinson’s The Batman. As this is being written, advance ticket sales have already reached $42 million.

In the meantime, three films enjoyed the weekend before Dr. Stephen Strange’s arrival and kept their 1-2-3 standing from the previous frame.

The Bad Guys won again with $16.1 million, followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($11.35 million) and Fantastic Beasts 3 ($8.3 million).

The Northman continued to see its revenues go south, earning $6.3 million for a fourth-place rank. With a tally of $22.8 million thus far, that’s not encouraging for the Robert Eggers film, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman, which has a reported production budget of $70 million, and millions more for marketing.

The bright spot in this period is Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s acclaimed Everything Everywhere All at Once which climbed to number five. The frenetic sci-fi action comedy, boasting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% and headlined by Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan, collected $5.5 million and increased its total to $35.4 million.

Nicolas Cage’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent ($3.925 million) and The Lost City ($3.9 million) landed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Even though Liam Neeson’s Memory, directed by Martin Campbell and co-starring Monica Bellucci and Guy Pearce, was the only new release, it scraped up $3.1 million only and settled for an eighth-place rank. Box office pundits commented that moviegoers are getting tired of Liam’s seemingly endless series of formulaic revenge films since his Taken blockbuster in 2008.

Rounding out the top ten were, in order, Mark Wahlberg’s Father Stu ($2.2 million) and Jared Leto’s Morbius ($1.5 million).

Next weekend, analysts will see how Doctor Strange 2 actually fares against its tracking forecast of $150 million-$200 million.

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