Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness Cost More Than Avengers 2

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was one of Marvel’s more eclectic outings, but it was also one of its most expensive. Deep within the company’s financials, Disney self-reported that the 2022 film cost a whopping $414.9 million, which is 6.4 percent more than even Avengers: Age of Ultron. This also translated to profits, as the report mentioned that Avengers: Age of Ultron made three times more profit based on the box office takes for both films.

Multiverse Of Madness Was A Major Swing

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a big swing for the MCU, as it fully committed to the multiverse story it kicked off with Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film was a visual feast and was generally well-reviewed, though it took some flak for the plot being a bit crowded. It followed Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular sorcerer as he attempted to stop Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch from capturing the dimension-hopping America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).

An Inflated Budget Ate Into The Profits

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Fortunately for Marvel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made nearly $1 billion, but the profits generated from the movie certainly come up a little short comparatively once you look at how much the film costs to make. The film was incredibly CGI-heavy, went through director Scott Derrickson leaving the project, was reworked by writer Michael Waldron and Sam Raimi when he stepped in as director, and experienced production delays due to the pandemic. With these factors in mind, it’s not entirely surprising that the budget for the film ballooned as much as it did.

Shock Cameos

Giancarlo Esposito Professor X

Add the fact that quite a few surprise characters also appeared in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Illuminati’s appearance, Patrick Stewart’s return as Professor X, and John Krasinski’s brief appearance as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic undoubtedly contributed to the huge budget. Regardless of the reasons, it’s still pretty crazy to learn that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now one of the most expensive films ever made. 

British Tax Incentives

Interestingly, the only reason we learned about the budget for Doctors Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is because much of it was shot in the United Kingdom. Disney had to make a subsidiary company that they named Supreme Works Productions II to qualify for the UK’s benefit reimbursement for filming in the country. To receive the reimbursement, the film production has to prove that at least 10 percent of the core production costs are UK-related.

These costs are then public when the company has to file publicly available financial statements, giving us insight into the true budget of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But, thanks to that reimbursement, the film’s net spending ended up going down to $350.6 million. Still, that’s quite a bit more than previous estimates for the film’s budget.

Teased A Third Movie We Might Never Get

The end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness teased us that we’ll see more of Cumberbatch’s sorcerer hero, though a third movie hasn’t been confirmed yet. If a third movie is greenlit, it seems likely Disney will be a bit tighter with the budget this time around. Until then, you can check out the next MCU offering, Deadpool & Wolverine, in theaters on July 26.

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