‘dr. Strange’ is a big test of how theaters will fare this summer

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That’s why so much hinges on one blockbuster in particular: “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Tickets have just gone on sale for the May 6 opening, and the Marvel movie could act as an indicator of moviegoers’ demand for big-screen entertainment as the world looks much like it used to. the closure of everything in March 2020.

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

Other Marvel Universe titles including ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ were released in July and September 2021. Both films have grossed over $300 million worldwide , but Covid concerns all but certainly dampened those totals. Even the record-breaking Marvel movies have probably made less than they normally would: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ broke box office records, grossing nearly $2 billion worldwide , but it opened amid the Omicron outbreak in December.

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 arise at any time – much of the United States is on the verge of reopening. With in-person schools returning, restaurants serving customers indoors, and many employees back in the office, consumers are feeling more “back to normal” than they have in two years.

This could be a boon not just for “Multiverse of Madness,” but also for the summer theater season. Historically the most lucrative time in the industry, summer box office returns build on momentum: if the summer gets off to a strong start, that usually bodes well for the films that follow.
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And after two brutal years, theaters need that kind of blockbuster summer. Warner Bros.’ “The Batman,” which opened in early March, brought back some normalcy with a stellar opening weekend and more than $700 million at the global box office so far. A strong summer could go a long way in bolstering movie theater profits.
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