Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness racked up $36 million from previews that began at 3 p.m. Thursday.

That’s the second-best preview during the pandemic after Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s $50M back in December.

Overall, it’s the eighth-largest preview performance ever, ranking behind Avengers: Infinity War‘s $39M in 2018.

The Sam Raimi-directed movie debuts in 4,534 theaters, making it the seventh-widest opening footprint ever.

As is typical with any Marvel movie, the question is how frontloaded Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is.

Industry expectations are at least $160M. Any way you cut it, that’s the biggest opening for Disney during the pandemic,

besting Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($75.3M),

and for exhibition it’s a great sign that the summer box office is off to a fantastic start.

Critics aren’t as wowed by this sequel as they were with the first one,

with 77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes compared with 89% Certified fresh on the 2016 edition.

DR Strange