MarvelBlog News for May 15th, 2022
As expected, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness struggled a bit in its second weekend, but it’s still a massive blockbuster; We’ll talk about this sequel and close the door on Moon Knight with some updates in the latest MarvelBlog News.
Let’s Talk Box Office
Last week’s MarvelBlog News discussed the early warning signals for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Generally, metrics like these and a few others like Comscore hint at how a movie will perform at the box office on later weekends.
Sure enough, Multiverse of Madness has cooled off dramatically in its second weekend. The film dropped from $187.4 million last weekend to $61 million.
That’s a decline of 67 percent or $126.4 in actual dollars. However, the danger signs reside in the margins.
To wit, The Batman opened to $134 million domestically, but it held at $66.5 million in its second weekend, a drop of only 50 percent.
Doctor Strange 2 debuted with $53 million more, but it performed worse in its second weekend. In short, the film isn’t holding the way that Marvel would prefer.
How much does that matter? Obviously, the concern remains fractional for the time being.
Multiverse of Madness has earned $291.9 million domestically after only ten days and has a global take of $688 million.
The sequel had crossed $550 million in less than ten days and has already earned more than Doctor Strange in terms of global box office.
So, the current pace still suggests a $1 billion film or at least one close enough that we’re splitting hairs about the difference.
As a reminder, Doctor Strange 2 only cost $200 million to produce. It’s a tentpole rainmaker for Disney/Marvel. It’s just not Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Tales from the Multiverse
This next MarvelBlog News story reinforces the concern I’d had all along, which is an unwritten Hollywood box office law.
If you’re making a movie eerily similar to another…like, say, Armageddon after Deep Impact or The Matrix and the 13th Floor, it’s dangerous to be the second movie.
However, the problem is that much worse if you’re the second movie, and you’re not as good as the last one. Unfortunately, that’s the fate that Doctor Strange 2 is facing.
Still, I don’t think anyone at Disney feels disappointed by this turn of events. On the contrary, it’s proof positive that the pandemic’s box office deflation has ended.
Yes, a better movie would have earned more, but nobody in 2022 will ever cry over a billion-dollar performance.
Along the way, we’ve also learned more about the inner workings of the film. To wit, the producers just revealed that Daniel Craig almost played a role.
There are some mixed signals about which character 007 would have taken.
Balder the Brave is one suggestion, while another is that he’d been a different member of the Illuminati.
I won’t say which one due to spoilers, but it’s the guy sitting on the left whose wife is also a superheroine.
Apparently, the pandemic wreaked havoc with various casting plans and filming for this project.
To wit, actress Elizabeth Olsen recently revealed that she hasn’t even met some of her co-stars. Instead, she filmed green screen battles, and they did as well.
Similarly, the *ahem* music fight didn’t exist at first. Instead, that entire sequence occurred during reshoots.
As for other cameos, I’ll spoil that Deadpool doesn’t make an appearance, nor does Tom Cruise.
The producers confirmed that both were under heavy consideration but eventually ruled out due to pandemic restraints.
MarvelBlog news as ahh of the information that has come out during the post-interview phase of Doctor Strange 2.
The most pressing discussion involves America Chavez. She will apparently star in a spinoff series on Disney+ at some point soon.
Without giving anything away from the movie, you know what her journey likely entails if you’ve seen it.
If you don’t, well, there’s a multiverse out there. America Chavez isn’t from here and would probably like to get home.
Do I mean the America Chavez from Marvel-616 or a different realm? Watch the movie to find out!
Speaking of the upcoming Disney+ series, the producers of X-Men ’97 are describing the reboot as “f-ing awesome.” So, that’s…really good news.
On the flip side, Disney won’t just cut a check for any Marvel story. I’m sad to report that Hulu canceled Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. after just one season.
This news isn’t a shocker by any stretch. All other Hulu-distributed Marvel series had already died before now.
Still, reviews for M.O.D.O.K. were good enough that Hulu/Disney at least toyed with the idea of a renewal.
The last new episode aired on May 21st, almost exactly a year ago. So, I guess it stayed in limbo too long to advance with a new season.
At this point, Disney controls all Marvel television and movie content, save for Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
That’s been the goal for a while, and it came out during Disney’s earnings report that the company paid $1.023 billion (!) to recoup its Marvel programming from Netflix.
Yes, Disney felt it should spend a billion dollars to take back Jessica Jones, Daredevil, et al. from Netflix. That’s how much the company values its Marvel intellectual properties.
Final Moon Knight Notes
As of this MarvelBlog News entry, Nielsen’s streaming ratings include the first three episodes of Moon Knight, which is half the series.
Moon Knight has placed on Nielsen’s Original Series top 10 all three weeks. Most recently, the program finished third with 638 million minutes watched.
Those numbers reflect a blockbuster similar to other recent MCU programs like Hawkeye and Loki.
However, we also know that these ratings reflect a one-month delay. For example, the “current” ratings are for April 11th through April 17th.
For this reason, we know a lot more about the since-completed series. To wit, two hot rumors proved unfounded.
One suggestion was that Mahershala Ali would debut as Blade in Moon Knight. The other involved the first appearance of Werewolf by Night.
You may recall that a Blade movie is coming to theaters in a couple of years. Meanwhile, Werewolf by Night will debut on Disney+ in time for Halloween.
So, both rumors made sense. But, oddly, the one that didn’t is the story that almost played out.
Moon Knight’s producers have confirmed that Dane Whitman, aka Black Knight, was under consideration.
The thought process is that Whitman could have appeared in some scenes as a museum curator.
This idea fell by the wayside when nobody could envision a plausible way for Black Knight to engage in fight sequences.
The producers didn’t want to fly in Kit Harrington and have him just talk about antiquities, fearing that would frustrate viewers.
That’s a valid point and probably the right call. Still, fans criticize Moon Knight and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for the same reason.
Both titles feel isolated from the universality of prior MCU stories. That’s a problem Marvel must address moving forward.
I’ll probably write more about this in an upcoming piece, and until then, that’s your MarvelBlog news; have a great week everyone!