Benedict Wong is playing the role of Wong in DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. The photo was taken by Marvel Studios. All rights are reserved.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

There was little doubt that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would retain the domestic box office crown since there was only one new wide release this weekend. The sequel earned $16.739 million on its second Friday, down from its opening day total of $90.7 million. Black Widow's second Friday drop last summer was the biggest Friday-to-Friday drop ever for a Disney MCU movie, but that initial Friday gross had $36 million worth of Thursday preview grosses.

Batman v Superman in April of 2016 had an 81.6% second-Friday drop, and we're looking at a similar drop and $61 million weekend gross. We are still talking about a domestic gross of $247 million and a ten-day gross of $288 million. Spider-Man: No Way Home dropped 83% on its second Friday and 67.5% on its first weekend and still earned 1.71x its $470 million ten-day total. I didn't want that to happen here as the buzz isn't as high and kids don't have two weeks of school a week.

Black Widow dropped more than Spider-Man: Far from Home and Ant-Man and the Wasp, both of which dropped more than Spider-Man: Far from Home. Black Widow, Eternals, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3 all earned 1.38-x their ten-day domestic totals. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be looking at a $400 million domestic finish if it plays again.

If it plays like Dawn of Justice and earns just 1.269x its ten-day total, it will end up below The Batman. The grosses are still huge, but it's frustrating that the drop is so large and the movie earned just a B+ Cinemascore. Firestarter is not comparable to Iron Man 3 or Neighbors against Spider-Man 2 in terms of second-weekend competition.

It's possible that some people weren't interested in it more than the people who were online wanted a less evil Wanda, more fan-bait cameos and Easter Eggs. It is possible that these movies are becoming for fans only, events where those who still care show up in the first week. If the fan ceiling remains high, it's fine.

It may point to a challenge after the next two years of MCU sequels, when it is time to introduce new characters. The fans and general audiences who would casually choose to show up on Saturday night were the reasons why the MCU became a dominant Hollywood blockbuster force. It may be closer to being a big-deal brand if it no longer has that advantage.