In spite of a strong start at the box office, reviews for the new Doctor Strange film, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness have been mixed. From the absence of cameo appearances to the lack of pleasure in Sam Raimi’s horror style, this may be one of the most divisive Marvel films.
One month after Spider-Man: No Way Home had the best reception in MCU history, Eternals had the worst. This was all part of Phase 4. It appeared that Multiverse of Madness would be a hit after its positive initial reviews, but as Marvel Studios has just shown, audiences and critics don’t always agree.
The official CinemaScore for Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness is a B+, which ranks it as the second-worst grade in the history of the MCU. Only Eternals’ CinemaScore of a B is higher than Multiverse of Madness, putting it on par with the first Thor film.
Doctor Strange previously received an A, whereas Spider-Man: No Way Home received an A+, which is the highest possible score. Morbius, on the other hand, received a dismal C+ rating. In order to get a sense of how people are feeling about a movie right after they leave the theater, CinemaScore conducts exit polls.
Iron Man: A
The Incredible Hulk: A
Iron Man 2: A
Captain America: The First Avenger: A
The Avengers: A+
Iron Man 3: A
Thor: The Dark World: A
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: A
Guardians of the Galaxy: A
Avengers: Age of Ultron: A
Captain America: Civil War: A
Doctor Strange: A
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: A
Spider-Man: Homecoming: A
Thor: Ragnarok: A
Black Panther: A+
Avengers: Infinity War: A
Ant-Man and the Wasp: A
Captain Marvel: A
Avengers: Endgame: A+
Spider-Man: Far From Home: A
Black Widow: A –
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: A
Spider-Man: No Way Home: A+
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: B+
The level of excitement surrounding Multiverse of Madness has been too high after so many years of anticipation. Sam Raimi instead delivered a horror film that succeeds as a Doctor Strange sequel, but fails as an Avengers-level blockbuster, following rumors of shocking cameos and rumour of game-changing twists.
Because of this disappointing CinemaScore, the Rotten Tomatoes audience rating for Multiverse of Madness currently stands at an impressive 88%. Rotten Tomatoes, on the other hand, relies solely on user-generated reviews to determine its rating.
Because diehard MCU fans are significantly more likely than casual viewers to share an online rating, it would appear that the Doctor Strange sequel is doing well with MCU diehards, but poorly with the everyday viewership audience. If this is the case, there are many possible reasons, but disappointment is the most likely one.
Rumors have been circulating for months that the MCU could be in for a major shake-up if some of its most beloved characters make an appearance. Only Mr Fantastic and Black Bolt were surprised in the Illuminati cameos in Multiverse of Madness; the rest were merely retreads of previous appearances. Sadly, this was not the case with the other Illuminati cameos.
The movie wasn’t to blame for that; rather, it was more a result of the high expectations people had going into it. Initial reaction to the film will be negative because of the lack of jaw-dropping instants, but perhaps the film franchise will mature like fine wine.
Poor word-of-mouth from friends and family typically results in a significant drop in box office revenue for a film with a low audience rating. However, Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster may have performed well when it opened, but only time will tell how it will fare in its subsequent weeks.