These days, the Walt Disney Company only churns out big movies that feed on fan anticipation and act as theatrical events rather than just film releases. Variety just reported that ALL Disney’s movies “each require production budgets of at least $200 million — plus marketing costs of roughly $100 million.” So, that means every Disney film is looking at a $300 million price tag from the start. Even with such high budgets, Disney just revealed that it went nearly $100 million OVER that budget for one recent Marvel movie.
The crazy and fantastical spectacle that is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) started out with the same $200 million budget. But after crunching some numbers, Forbes calculated that the Doctor Strange sequel went about $94.5 million over budget and cost a whopping $349 million overall. Because the film was shot in the UK, which offers tax break incentives, the production was reimbursed $54.5 million, making the net cost roughly $294.5 million.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows Stephen Strange as he teams up with a teenage girl who can travel across multiverses. He travels to different timelines and dimensions, doing battle against threats that have the power to wipe out millions across the Multiverse. Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Dr. Strange, and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch is a notable antagonist who steals the show.
It’s not surprising that the top-notch actors, complicated filming process, and mind-bending post-production effects ended up costing a ton of money. Marvel films themselves need a massive budget for world-building and to make fantastical things appear real. Multiverse of Madness also struggled through the pandemic-era production restrictions and did a lot of reshooting.
In the end, Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange sequel grossed $955.8 million worldwide, which still managed to turn a $183.4 million profit from just theatrical revenue.