‘Eternals’ $71 Million Debut Is Rare Miss for Marvel Picture
(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co.’s “Eternals,” which introduced a new squad of superheroes to movie fans, took in $71.3 million in North American theaters this weekend, falling short of some estimates and representing a rare miss for the Marvel studio.
- The film, which is based on a comic book series that first appeared in 1976, generated another $90.7 million in international markets, Disney said Sunday. Boxoffice Pro, a website that tracks the industry, had forecast a domestic opening of $78 million for “Eternals,” while Disney projected $75 million going into the weekend before adjusting that forecast Saturday to a range that started as low as $70 million.
- “Dune” took in $7.8 million to finish in second place, according to Comscore Inc. numbers released Monday.
- While October achieved a pandemic-era box-office high in North America, the monthly gross still fell short of totals seen before Covid’s rise. The shrunken box office receipts make it harder for big-budget movies to achieve profitability. The top-grossing opening weekend through last month was Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” at $90 million.
- “Eternals” is the worst-reviewed film of any Marvel Cinematic Universe picture. Only half of critics recommended the film, according to Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a diverse team of superheroes that have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years to protect against the so-called Deviants. Academy Award winner Chloe Zhao directed the film, which features Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani.
- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman declined to show the film after Disney refused to edit scenes involving intimacy. “Eternals” may also have trouble getting a release date in China given comments Zhao has made about her home country.
- It’s quite possible “Eternals” holds on to the top spot in North America next week, when “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Belfast” are slated for wide releases. The next big opening after those is “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” on Nov. 19. “Eternals” will be exclusively in cinemas for at least 45 days.
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