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Box Office: 'Doctor Strange 2' Debuts to Heroic $185 Million

Doctor Strange and his questionably effective book of spells has summoned a blockbuster $185 million at North American movie theaters over the weekend



Box Office: 'Doctor Strange 2' Debuts to Heroic $185 Million
GNN Media: Representational Photo

LOS ANGELES: Doctor Strange and his questionably effective book of spells has summoned a blockbuster $185 million at North American movie theaters over the weekend, reaffirming the box office dominance of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe after a shakier, pandemic-battered year for the franchise.

The timeline-bending "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" represents a return to form for Disney's MCU after COVID-era releases "Black Widow" ($80 million debut, plus $60 million on Disney Plus), "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" ($75 million debut), and "Eternals" ($71 million debut). Due to the pandemic and other extenuating circumstances, those installments failed to live up to their franchise predecessors in terms of ticket sales.

Those box office returns mark the 11th biggest opening weekend in history. Given the anomaly of reaching those box office heights, "Doctor Strange 2" easily delivered the biggest opening weekend of 2022, as well as the second-biggest debut in COVID-19 times. Prior to this weekend, "The Batman" stood as the year's biggest opening weekend with $134 million. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" still ranks as the pandemic's biggest opening weekend (and the second-biggest ever) with $260 million.

Overseas, the film earned $265 million from 49 territories, taking the global total to $450 million. Since "Doctor Strange 2" is not likely to play in China, Russia or Ukraine, the film will rely on repeat viewings from audiences around the globe to push ticket sales past the coveted $1 billion mark. Only "Spider-Man: No Way Home" has been able to cross that threshold since COVID took hold.

At the domestic box office, "Doctor Strange" follow-up outgrossed its predecessor's entire opening weekend tally in a single day. "Doctor Strange 2" raked in $90 million on Friday alone, while the 2016 adventure "Doctor Strange" brought in $85 million between Friday and Sunday. Marvel and other major franchise films tend to be front-loaded in terms of ticket sales because fans want to be among the first to see the movie -- lest spoilers appear online and ruin the fun. Still, the sequel will quickly blow past the final box office tally of the original "Doctor Strange," which ended its theatrical run with $232 million domestically and $677 million globally.

"Doctor Strange 2" is benefitting as the follow-up film to Sony's box office behemoth "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which became a must-see movie event and grossed $1.89 billion worldwide. With Peter Parker's tantalizing adventures as a precursor, plus Disney's marketing machine heavily teasing some big surprise cameos, "Doctor Strange" landed in rarified air -- even for a Marvel movie.

Imax, 3D and other premium format screens also contributed to higher grosses for "Doctor Strange 2," which cost $200 million to produce, not including hefty marketing fees. According to Disney, 36% of overall box office ticket sales came from premium formats. With $33 million from Imax alone, "Doctor Strange" ranks among the company's top 10 global opening weekends.

"This is another sensational Marvel opening, by Marvel's own dominant standard," says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. "'Doctor Strange' is growing its audience with a stronger follow-up release."

Sam Raimi, the mastermind behind the original "Spider-Man" trilogy, directed "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." The film picks up as the eponymous neurosurgeon-turned-Avenger, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, casts a dangerous spell that forces him to travel into the multiverse to face a mysterious new adversary and alternate versions of himself. Along with Cumberbatch, the cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong as Wong and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, a teen who can travel between dimensions.

"Doctor Strange 2" kicks off the summer blockbuster season with a bang. In the coming months, "Top Gun: Maverick" (May 27), "Jurassic World Dominion" (June 10) and "Thor: Love and Thunder" (July 8) should keep theaters bustling with foot traffic. With "The Multiverse of Madness" looming large in theaters (and taking up nearly every single screen in major circuits), several holdover titles rounded out box office charts.

After two weeks at the No. 1 spot, Universal's animated heist comedy "The Bad Guys" dropped to second place with $9.7 million from 3,839 venues. Those returns bring the movie's domestic tally to $57 million.

Paramount's family-friendly "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" took third place with $6.2 million from 3,358 North American theaters. After five weeks on the big screen, the "Sonic" follow-up has grossed $169.9 million at the domestic box office. It's one of the rare pandemic-era sequels to earn more than its predecessor in theaters. "Sonic's" first silver screen adventure took in $148 million in North America before COVID-19 forced multiplexes to close in March of 2020.

"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" dropped to the No. 4 spot with $3.8 million from 3,051 screens. The latest chapter in the "Harry Potter" prequel series ranks as the lowest-grossing of the larger Wizarding World film franchise. "The Secrets of Dumbledore" has generated $86 million to date and may struggle to cross $100 million domestically, a benchmark that prior "Harry Potter"-adjacent movies passed in a matter of days.

A24's "Everything Everywhere All at Once" beat the Focus Features film "The Northman" for fifth place, as the former brought in $3.3 million from 1,542 theaters and the latter brought in $2.7 million from 2,413 theaters. This weekend's turnout continues a strong box office run for "Everything Everywhere All At Once," a genre-defying movie starring Michelle Yeoh, despite playing in far fewer theaters than "The Northman." Since opening in theaters seven weeks ago, "Everything Everywhere" has grossed an impressive $41 million in North America. "The Northman" has earned $28 million to date.

At the specialty box office, IFC Films opened Audrey Diwan's abortion drama "Happening" to theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, bringing in $34,000 from four venues. That translates to $8,500 per location. "Happening," which unfolds in 1963 France, arrives on the big screen at a politically charged moment, with the Supreme Court seemingly about to overturn Roe v. Wade. IFC plans to bring the film to more than 100 cities nationwide next week.

"IFC Films is committed to bringing 'Happening' to screens across America at this pivotal moment in time," said Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films. "We hope audiences seek this film out and that it sparks important conversations about our future. We are proud to continue our long tradition of sharing important, female-driven stories with audiences nationwide."





Adeel Daniel

Adeel Daniel is a Passionate journalist who has many years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has previously worked with other renowned TV channels as well as English news papers. Now he is a part of the GNN Network.


Balochistan set to hold local government elections tomorrow

Over 2,000 polling stations declared extremely sensitive

Published by Siddra Sumreen



Balochistan set to hold local government elections tomorrow

Quetta: Balochistan is all set to hold local government elections in 32 districts on May 29 (Sunday) amid tight security arrangements.

According to details, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared over 2,000 polling stations sensitive and the provincial government has enhanced security to avert any untoward incident during polling.

In Balochistan, a total of 17,774 candidates are contesting the LG elections. Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Quddus Bizenjo ordered the release of Rs600 million to meet the expenses of the elections including logistics expenditures of the election staff and law enforcement agencies.

According to Provincial Election Commission, the total number of registered voters in the 32 districts is 3,552,398 with over 2,000,000 male voters and 1,546,124 female voters.

The ECP has set up 13,533 polling booths in 5,624 polling stations across 32 districts. Election results will be announced on June 2.

The voters will exercise their votes for seven Municipal Corporations, 49 Municipal Committees, and 838 Union Councils in these districts. There are 6,259 wards including 5,345 rural and 914 urban.

On the other hand, a special security plan was made to ensure peaceful and smooth polling.

Besides, 45,438 security personnel — including members of the police, Levies, Anti-Terrorist Force and Frontier Corps (FC) — will be deployed in and around polling stations. Army troops along with FC personnel would be deployed at all tentative polling stations.

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PM Shehbaz announces Rs28 billion relief package for masses

The premier says the nation was dragged into economic swamp by the previous government

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman



PM Shehbaz announces Rs28 billion relief package for masses

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan Mian Shehbaz Sharif has announced Rs28 relief package for the people of Pakistan, saying the package will counter rising inflation in the country.

Addressing the nation in a televised address, he said the package would be in addition to the Benazir Income Support Programme, adding the relief package would be included in the annual budget.

The prime minister said the move to increase fuel prices was necessary to avoid Pakistan from facing bankruptcy, adding the previous government neither bought fuel not got the power plants repaired.

He announced Rs2,000 to 14 million poor families across the country, saying these families comprise 85 million people. 

He said the 10-kg floor bag would be available at utility stores in Rs400, adding 

Discussing the foreign conspiracy against [PTI government], he said the National Security Committee and the US had termed the news of conspiracy as baseless.

"Even our Ambassadior to the US had rejected the story of conspiracy," the premier said.

PM Shehbaz said a diplomatic cable was used for political means and the nation was fed with lies despite the National Security Committee (NSC) and the ambassador to the United States both rubbishing the "foreign conspiracy" claims touted by ex-premier Imran Khan.

PM Shehbaz said if Khan thinks his "ego" is bigger than the state, then it is his misconception as Pakistan will function in line with the Constitution and not upon following the direction of one person.

Reminding the PTI government of its tenure, PM Shehbaz said it was Khan that struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), not the current government.

He said that over the last four years, Pakistan incurred more than $20,000 billion worth of debt, which was more than 80% of the total loans taken during the history of the country.

The prime minister said the incumbent government was ready to take tough decisions for moving the country towards progress in a bid to end the politics of "incompetency and corruption".

He added that when the new government came into power, inflation was skyrocketing, industries were shutting down, and the US dollar — which was at Rs115 — had reached Rs189.


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Shehroze Kashif becomes youngest-ever to summit top five highest mountain peaks

He achieved the feat on Saturday

Published by Siddra Sumreen



Shehroze Kashif becomes youngest-ever to summit top five highest mountain peaks

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Shehroze Kashif became the youngest mountaineer ever to scale top five highest mountain peaks in the world.

Shehroze aka ‘The Broad Boy’ achieved the unique feat after summiting 8463m-high Makalu – the fifth highest mountain in the world.

This is his third summit of a mountain over 8000m in this month. On May 16, Kashif summited the 8516m-high Lhotse is Nepal.

On May 6, Kashif summited the 8586m-high Kangchenjunga Mountain, which is the world’s third-highest mountain.

He is the only Pakistan mountaineer to summit three mountains over 8000m in a month.

Kashif was the first Pakistani, and also the youngest man ever, to summit the Kanchenjunga Mountain. He also holds two Guinness records of the youngest ever to summit both K2 and Mount Everest.

On July 27, 2021, Kashif summited K2, the second tallest peak in the world. He scaled the 8,611-metre high peak with the aid of bottled oxygen. Before Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, the son of the legendary climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara, was the youngest person to have climbed K2 at the age of 20.

Earlier, he scaled the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, at the age of 19.

The young mountaineer who hails from Lahore started climbing at the age of 11. His first summit was Makra Peak (3885m). At 12, he climbed the 4080m Musa Ka Massalah and 4600m Chembra peak.

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