Disney's 'Doctor Strange,' With Heavy TV Advertising, Conjures Up $185M For Box Office

Ramping up in anticipation of the summer theatrical season, Walt Disney-Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” with heavy TV marketing, whipped up $185.0 million in box office revenue for North American theaters, according to Comscore. 

“Doctor Strange” was boosted by dominant wall-to-wall national TV advertising -- with an estimated ad spend of $7.3 million over the last two weeks, according to iSpot.tv.

This came from 2,430.5 equivalized 30-second commercials pulling in a massive 983.9 million impressions. In terms of 30-second commercials “Dr. Strange” airings were more than the next six advertised theatrical films combined.

Much of the film’s national TV advertising was placed on Disney’s owned network ABC, followed by ESPN -- both with heavy ad placement on NBA basketball programming. This was followed by FX Network, Freeform, and HGTV.

Total paid TV advertising for “Dr. Strange” is currently at an estimated $14.8 million. 

No other wide-release, major studio movies debuted for the weekend of May 6 through 8. "Dr. Strange" took in the bulk of all North American theatrical box office that weekend -- which totaled $219.1 million.

Second place for the weekend went to Universal Picture’s “The Bad Guy” -- now in its third week, pulling in $9.8 million. Third place went to Paramount Pictures' "Sonic The Hedgehog 2" at $6.2 million in its fifth week.

Industry-wide, through the first four months of 2022, the theatrical box office is now at $2.2 billion -- up 355% versus 2021 and 18% more than 2020, according to IMdb Box Office Mojo. But it is still down 43% from the 2019 pre-pandemic four-month period when it was $3.7 billion.

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