Employee Complains About ‘Doctor Strange’ Domination Affecting Small Movie Theaters

in Entertainment, Marvel

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Poster

Credit: Marvel Studios

Now that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) is being projected on screens worldwide, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans couldn’t be happier.

doctor strange in the multiverse of madness kevin feige production poster
Credit: Marvel Studios

With amazing characters and cameos, mesmerizing visual effects, and the characteristic charm of an MCU production, it is easy to see this film being a significant hit, mainly because of the massive amount of fans trying to get tickets to the premiere caused several major movie theater websites to crash. And even with the film being banned in several countries, including Saudi Arabia and China, because of the debut of America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez), one of Marvel’s LGBTQ characters, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to be having a huge success.

xochitl gomez as america chavez aka miss america in Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Trailer
Credit: Marvel Studios

However, many are unhappy with how the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 28th feature screenings are being handled.

The Cooler Shaun King (@Java_jigga) shared their experience on the matter by posting a Twitter thread commenting on how frustrating Disney screening contracts are for many movie theaters, especially smaller ones.

The conversation started with the video of an interview where Quentin Tarantino details how Disney ruined the premiere of his movie The Hateful Eight (2015) by basically forcing the Cinerama Dome, a historic theater in Los Angeles, California, to breach their contract with Tarantino.

Cinerama Theatre
Credit: Los Angeles Times

Disney requested to extend screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) throughout the entire Holiday season, according to Tarantino, and threatened to remove the film from all ArcLight theaters if the Cinerama Dome refused, which was a significant change from the initial contract. It is worth noting that Tarantino created the movie in a special 70mm format, thinking of screening it at the Cinerama Dome, and wanted to show his feature film there more than in any other theater. Unfortunately, Disney won this conflict, pushing The Hateful Eight out of the Cinerama Dome.

Quentin Tarntino (left) and Brad Pitt (right)
Credit: Sony Pictures

The Cooler Shaun King mentions that contracts like this are basically locking smaller theaters, like the single-screen theater they work at, into showing Doctor Strange for two months.

I work a single screen and we’re basically locked in to showing doctor strange for like 2 months because of contracts like these

The conversation continued by explaining that Disney takes about 80% of the ticket revenue for the first three weeks of screenings. This number later drops to 60% for a week, then 40%, and so on, practically forcing movie theaters to screen films for two months if they want to keep most of the box office revenue.

The Cooler Shaun King also adds that, if the theater decided to show another movie during the week, they are not allowed to advertise it, and that it is not only Disney but that most movie distributors set similar conditions, putting single-screen theaters in essentially an “either you’re not showing movies, or you’re showing ours” situation.

Many viewers also shared similar experiences with other small theaters, like @UnquietAndrew, who commented that a local theater had to expand to a second location just to be able to screen Disney and other movies simultaneously, and @blackeye_club, who said that half the screens at the theater he worked at were locked into screening Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) for six weeks regardless of the movie’s performance, with multiple screenings with no viewers in the theater.

It is unfortunate to see movie theaters struggle with the newest releases of major franchises, but unless contracts are made in a more individualized way, there is not much they can do against this “monopoly”.

More on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The official synopsis of Doctor Strange’s newest adventure reads:

“To restore a world where everything is changing, Strange seeks help from his ally Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the Avengers’ most powerful Scarlet Witch, Wanda. But a terrible threat looms over humanity and the entire universe that no longer can be done by their power alone. Even more surprising, the greatest threat in the universe looks exactly like Doctor Strange.”

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Poster
Credit: Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange 2 is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange in the main timeline, but he will also play other variants in the movie, such as Zombie Strange, Defender Strange, and Strange Supreme.

The movie will also star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda MaximoffAmerica Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), Wong as the Sorcerer Supreme (Benedict Wong), Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Rintrah (Adam Hugill)Charles Xavier/Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart), and potentially other characters from the Marvel universe.

Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier/Professor X in X-Men
Credit: 20th Century Fox Studios

With the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Guests can now meet Wanda in her Scarlet Witch outfit and America Chavez at Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure. MCU’s latest female leads will be joining  Moon Knight and Mr. Knight, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Thor, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, The Wasp, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and the Dora Milaje, who can currently be found at the Avengers Headquarters and the Ancient Sanctum within the Avengers Campus.

Have you watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to see Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) some more? What about Loki? Spider-Man: Freshman Year will soon be coming to Disney+ (among other announcements such as  X-Men ’97, What If…? Season 2, Echo, She-Hulk, and Agatha: House of Harkness); click here to watch today! 

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