Disney's blockbuster film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, went over-budget by $94.5 million, according to recently released financial statements from the UK company that produced the movie. The film, which is a sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular wizard and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. It follows Doctor Strange as he travels through different dimensions to stop Scarlet Witch from capturing a young girl with magical powers.
The movie was filmed in the UK, which allowed the production company to receive a cash reimbursement of up to 25% of their spending, as long as it represented at least 10% of the total cost of the film. The financial statements show that $135.3 million was spent on making the movie, with the majority going towards post-production. When combined with the $213.7 million already spent during pre-production and filming, the total cost of the movie amounted to $349 million.
The production company was reimbursed $54.5 million, bringing the net production cost of the film to $294.5 million. This was $94.5 million more than the estimated production cost reported by outlets such as Variety and Deadline. It is unclear whether this higher cost was solely due to the impact of COVID-19 or if other factors were involved.
The production of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled for release in May 2021 but was delayed by a year due to the temporary shutdown of production. Production was further disrupted in January 2021 when Elizabeth Olsen stated that filming had stopped because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in the UK. Marvel even claimed furlough grants from the UK government in connection with the movie.
Despite the higher production cost, the film was a success at the box office, grossing $955.8 million. However, Disney has faced challenges with other recent releases, such as Lightyear and Strange World, which only earned a combined $300 million. The company is now placing its hopes on the upcoming Haunted Mansion movie and The Marvels, the sequel to Captain Marvel, to boost its box office performance.
Overall, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness went over-budget due to the impact of COVID-19, but it still managed to achieve significant success at the box office. The higher production cost highlights the challenges faced by the film industry during the pandemic, but Disney remains optimistic about its future releases.