Neither the good weather nor the terraces can with a Marvel superhero. The last to demonstrate it has been Doctor Strange. The second film dedicated to the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch has swept theaters. More than 5.5 million euros in just three days has raised Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Sam Raimi film. It is the best premiere of the year and achieved the best Friday since the reopening of movie theaters. His figures are well above the 3.4 that achieved another superhero, Batman; and of the 3.08 that Uncharted raised. Of course, it has fallen short of what achievement Spider-Man: no way home, that in its first weekend on December 16 reached 7.2 million euros.
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The result of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness is spectacular, with figures that the vast majority of films do not achieve even in their entire commercial career. He now has several weeks ahead of him to multiply this result and see how far he is able to go. In the rest of the world the data has also been stratospheric. In the US he has raised 185 million dollars (according to the first and cautious forecasts). This is by far the best weekend of the year. People are still eager to see a Marvel movie, and at Disney they are already counting the tickets with their umpteenth success.
Since theaters reopened, superhero movies and big franchises like Fast & Furious are the only ones that have shown they're in good health to keep dragging people into theaters. For its part, adult cinema has failed to attract people back to theaters. A result like that of Parasites in 2019, when it achieved almost eight million euros and more than 1.2 million tickets sold seems impossible. for now just the little phenomenon of Alcarràs offers some hope. In ten days it has achieved almost 200,000 viewers. A huge figure for a film of these characteristics.
The cinema is polarized, and the ultimate test is the contrast between the poor results of the Film Festival and the enormous results of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness. The only party has been at the offices of Marvel and Disney, because the rest have not had so much to celebrate. People have waited for the weekend to see the new installment of the fashion saga, and have not gone during the week despite the fact that the tickets were worth 3.50 euros. Between Tuesday and Thursday there were 704,927 spectators at the cinema. Only the Marvel movie has sold more tickets (783,942) in the weekend.
It is true that this year's Film Festival coincided with a Champions League week, and football has always been the great enemy of these events, but despite this, the result has not been very encouraging. You have to go back to 2012 to see similar figures. Then 766,000 tickets were sold. Last year there was a similar initiative at the end of September. It lasted one more day and 964,315 viewers were achieved, so the habit of going to the movies has not been recovered and movie parties help, but not enough.
From the Federation of Cinema Exhibitors see the glass half full. “It should be noted that, thanks to this new edition of the Film Festival, this week of May, which was expected to be very complicated due to the lack of premieres and sporting events (football and tennis), has become the third best week of the year in terms of spectator attendance at theaters”, they said in a statement in which they announced that there will be another edition this 2022, it will be at the beginning of October.
It is expected to be the beginning of a gradual return to theaters now that there are no masks, although good weather has never been a good companion for cinemas. At the moment, the data is very far from the pre-pandemic courses. In June 2019, 1.82 million tickets were sold. This means a drop of 61%. This decline is more pronounced if one looks at the figures for October of the same year, when 2.29 million attendees were registered in one of the most successful editions, the second best in history after October 2016, which was close to 2, 6 million tickets.
The last quarter of 2022 will be key. Between September and December numerous film proposals will arrive. From more installments of Marvel, sequels like Avatar and star-studded adult cinema that should work and bring people back to theaters. The eyes will be on this new edition of a film festival that, for now, has not returned to normal.