CORONAVIRUS

‘Dr. Strange’ is a big test for how theaters will fare this summer

Apr 6, 2022, 12:16 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:16 pm

Benedict Cumberbatch appears as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiv...

Benedict Cumberbatch appears as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. (Courtesy of Marvel Studios/Disney)

(Courtesy of Marvel Studios/Disney)

(CNN) — COVID is in a lull in the United States: Masks are often an afterthought, people are going out again and some of the worst-hit industries during the pandemic — like movie theaters — are starting to get back to normal.

That’s why so much is riding on one particular blockbuster: “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Tickets just went on sale for the May 6 opening, and the Marvel film may act as a bellwether of moviegoers’ demand for big-screen entertainment when the world looks much like it did before everything shut down in March 2020.

“Multiverse of Madness” not only has the star power of Benedict Cumberbatch, but also the best timing as it relates to COVID, compared to other recent Marvel films.

Other titles in the Marvel universe, including “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” came out in July and September of 2021. Both films made more than $300 million worldwide, but COVID concerns all but certainly curbed those totals. Even record-breaking Marvel movies likely made less than they typically would have: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” blew out box office records, making nearly $2 billion globally, but it opened right in the middle of December’s omicron outbreak.

The skies are generally sunnier for the opening of “Multiverse of Madness.” Although the pandemic is still a very real threat — and a new variant could crop up at any time — much of the U.S. Frank Pallotta, CNN Businessis well into reopening. With schools back in person, restaurants serving customers inside and many employees back in the office, consumers are feeling more “back to normal” than they have in two years.

That could be a boon not only for “Multiverse of Madness” but also for theaters’ summer movie season. Historically the industry’s most lucrative period, summer box office returns are built on momentum: If the summer kicks off strong, it usually bodes well for the films that follow.

And after a brutal two years, theaters need that kind of blockbuster summer. Warner Bros.’ “The Batman,” which opened in early March, brought back some normalcy with a great opening weekend and more than $700 million at the global box office so far. A strong summer could go a long way in shoring up theaters’ profits.


The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

11 days ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

2 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

2 months ago

Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

3 months ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

‘Dr. Strange’ is a big test for how theaters will fare this summer