According to analyst firm Comscore, Disney and Marvel’s epic “The Eternals” fell short of the first domestic box office forecasts this weekend, topping the North American markets with $ 71 million.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe – initially estimated to have $ 80 million to $ 85 million domestically – performed better overseas, grossing $ 90.7 million internationally for a combined total of $ 161.7 million. By pandemic (and non-Marvel) standards, The Eternals became a box office success domestically, ranking fourth among all films released during the COVID-19 crisis.
But compared to other Marvel works released during and before the public health emergency, the superhero film’s domestic box office grosses are slim.
Marvel and Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage still holds a $ 90 million pandemic weekend record, followed by Marvel-Disney’s Black Widow, which launched in July with a $ 80.4 million price tag. and Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, which opened at $ 75.4 million in September.
Black Widow likely lost some of the box office due to the simultaneous launch of streaming on Disney +, while Venom, Shang Chi and The Eternals opened exclusively in theaters.
After hitting the top four spots at the box office for the pandemic, Universal’s F9: The Swift Saga came in fifth, grossing $ 70 million in its first weekend in June. Other major debuts since COVID-19 include No Time to Die by United Artists Releasing, Universal’s Halloween Murders, A Quiet Place Part II by Paramount and Warner Bros. “Dune”.
The Eternals, directed by Oscar winner Chloe Zhao, focuses on a team of immortal alien beings who have been tasked with repeatedly saving humanity from monstrous forces over the millennia.
The film’s star ensemble – the most diverse in MCU history – includes Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff, Don Lee, Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan, Brian Tyree Henry, Leah McHugh, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, and Salma Hayek.
Compared to other MCU films distributed by Disney since 2012, The Eternals only surpassed Ant-Man, which had a domestic price tag of $ 57.2 million in 2015.
At the other end of the MCU’s box office range, the Avengers movies reign supreme: The Avengers opened at $ 207.4 million in 2012, Infinity War kicked off at $ 257.7 million in 2018, and Endgame debuted at a whopping sum. at $ 357.1. million in 2019.
Several factors may have contributed to the relatively disappointing domestic box office opening for The Eternal. After a long pandemic-driven MCU drought that ended on Disney + with the release of “WandaVision” in January, it’s possible viewers are feeling a little tired of Marvel.
Eternals is the sixth MCU set to premiere in 2021, following WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Black Widow and Shang Chi.
Add to that Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and it’s a potentially huge amount of Marvel content to squeeze into one year – with Disney +’s Hawkeye and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home yet to come. …
(Before the pandemic completely upended every studio giant’s release schedule, The Eternals should have arrived in 2020, after Black Widow and before Shang-Chi.)
Critically, The Eternals scored a mediocre 48% on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, well below Shang Chi (92%), Black Widow (79%), or even Venom (59 ). %).
On CinemaScore, “Eternals” received a decent B rating from the audience, while “Shang-Chi” received an A.
In anticipation of its release, The Eternals was marketed and advertised as a different kind of MCU movie than anything else in the franchise due to its slightly more serious tone, especially its large scale and complex narrative structure – another possible deviation for die-hard Marvel fans who prefer standard superhero dishes.
Dune is behind the Eternals in domestic box office this weekend, with $ 7.6 million in third weekend and $ 83.9 million in North America; No Time to Die, which grossed $ 6.2 million in its fifth weekend for a total of $ 143.2 million in North America; and Venom, which grossed $ 4.5 million in its sixth weekend and combined revenue in North America of $ 197 million.
In terms of independent films, Neon’s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, came in 8th with $ 2.1 million, generally in line with softer reviews for adult art house titles. As usual, Netflix hasn’t reported the box office for its new crime drama Red Notice, starring Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson.
Next weekend is likely to be relatively quiet, with only Paramount’s family movie Clifford, The Big Red Dogs going to wide release, leaving room for The Eternals to catch up.
Times editor Jeff Berkshire contributed to this report.