The first batch of reviews for Doctor Strange 2 has been released, and the Rotten Tomatoes score falls a bit short of what most people expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A positive critical and financial response to Marvel’s upcoming film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, could have significant ramifications for the studio’s filmmaking plans going forward.
Sam Raimi is returning to direct another Marvel movie, this time as the director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, following the departure of Scott Derrickson, the original director of the movie. As the post-Avengers Endgame Phase 4 continues to unfold, the MCU’s Scariest Movie will feature Scarlett Witch Wanda Maximov (Elizabeth Olsen) and Doctor Stephen Strange.
Rotten Tomatoes gives Doctor Strange 2 a 75% rating, which is lower than the MCU’s previous average of 84% but still good. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s the only MCU film other than the Incredible Hulk or Thor: The Dark World to receive a “Fresh” rating, but not the “Certified Fresh” designation. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 47%, Eternals was the worst MCU film to date. but only four MCU films have scored lower than 75%, putting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as the MCU’s No. 24 overall release.
While the 14-point drop to 75 % for the sequel may seem extreme, the audience score only slumped three points from 85% to 82% when compared to the first Doctor Strange movie, which had a higher Rotten Tomatoes score of 89%. The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is more closely linked to box office success than the critic score on the Tomatometer, which is more subjective.
A solid 75% on Rotten Tomatoes is a respectable mark for a film in the MCU, but this is to be expected given the high bar set by previous MCU instalments. Ultimately, all reviews are subjective, so a high Rotten Tomatoes rating doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. But it’s fair to say that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will proceed with the MCU’s almost immaculate background of Fresh Rotten Tomatoes scores.