Disney’s âEternals,â the latest installment in the vast Marvel Cinematic Universe, will dominate the domestic box office when it debuts in more than 4,000 theaters Friday on Friday.
The comic book adaptation – starring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie – is expected to raise between $ 75 million and $ 80 million in its first three days of release. Some box office prognosticators have indicated that ticket sales could reach or exceed $ 85 million, which would give “Eternals” the biggest pandemic-era launch for a Marvel movie. Earlier in 2021, MCU entries “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opened at $ 75 million in September and “Black Widow” opened at $ 80 million (it also took in $ 60 million in rentals on Disney Plus) in July. Overall, Sony’s âVenom: Let There Be Carnageâ holds the Pandemic Era Opening Weekend record with $ 90 million in October.
In a cinematic landscape battered by COVID, expectations for the opening weekend are very different from those before the plague. Industry experts say that even for a budgeted $ 200 million tent pole like âEternals,â inaugural ticket sales of over $ 70 million could be considered a triumph these days. Before the pandemic, most Marvel films had no trouble making at least $ 100 million when they debut.
âEternalsâ has already raised $ 13 million in advance ticket sales, 10% behind âBlack Widowâ and 23% above âShang-Chiâ at the same time in their sales cycles. Fandango, a popular online ticketing service, confirms these figures, reporting that “Eternals” overtakes “Shang-Chi” in advance ticket sales and ranks second in pre-sales of the year behind. ” Black Widow “.
Internationally, “Eternals” will land in 93% of overseas markets and seek to generate $ 55 million or more. By comparison, âShang-Chiâ opened for $ 53 million in similar markets and âBlack Widowâ grossed $ 69 million in similar markets.
âEternalsâ was lauded for breaking new ground in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the property’s first entry to feature a gay couple and a deaf superhero. Despite the historical aspect, it will serve as an interesting test in the seemingly unassailable Marvel Cinematic Universe. There was no shortage of superhero dishes on the big and small screens in 2021, with âBlack Widowâ and âShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ringsâ in theaters and âWandaVisionâ, âLokiâ and â Falcon and the Winter Soldat âon Disney Plus. But it’s not the deluge of comic book content that puts “Eternals” in the spotlight. After all, âShang-Chiâ opened over the Labor Day holiday and is the highest-grossing film of the year in North America. So far, there has been no detection of franchise fatigue.
On the contrary, âEternalsâ is the rare Marvel movie that has been plagued by mixed reviews. Movie critics have disputed its complicated plot and nearly eternal runtime (it runs at two hours and 37 minutes), giving “Eternals” a mediocre Rotten Tomatoes average of 57%. Its score is considerably lower than recent MCU entries such as âShang-Chiâ (92% avg), âBlack Widowâ (79% avg), âAvengers: Endgameâ (94% avg) and âCaptain. Marvel â(79% average). ). In âEternals,â part of the challenge is to introduce a number of new characters, who aren’t as ubiquitous as Iron Man, Spider-Man, or Thor, while balancing, you know, the actual plot of the movie. Varieties Chief film critic Owen Gleiberman describes the film as “very standard “but, nonetheless, calls it” a downright fun and rewarding watch. “
At the same time, Marvel has cultivated a fan base like no other – and critics (both good and bad) rarely play a disproportionate role in attracting comic book followers. Given the interconnected nature of the series, fans have a sort of unspoken obligation to watch each new episode to understand how the overall story fits together. âEternalsâ sets up Phase 4 of the MCU, which includes big-screen sequels to âBlack Panther,â âThor,â âCaptain Marvel,â and âDoctor Strange.â So even if critics don’t approve of the film, Marvel’s loyalists will likely show up in force … and bring some friends. Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for Box Office Pro, believes it would be unwise to ignore Marvel and its “appeal to all audiences.”
“I suspect a lot of fans will always look to the film given the enormous goodwill of the franchise and given the fact that critics and audiences don’t always agree,” he says. But, he adds, as the box office continues to recover from the pandemic, “the public remains selective about what they spend their money on.”
âEternalsâ only plays in theaters, a factor that should help box office revenue in the long run. An exclusive theatrical release benefited âShang-Chi,â which had a slightly smaller debut than âBlack Widow,â but ultimately surpassed its other MCU chapter at the box office. âShang-Chiâ grossed $ 222 million in North America, while âBlack Widowâ grossed $ 183 million. Scarlett Johansson, who stars in “Black Widow,” then sued Disney in a bomb lawsuit, claiming the decision to simultaneously release “Black Widow” in theaters and on Disney Plus had cannibalized the film’s box office revenue. and had cost him tens of millions of dollars in back-end deals. Disney has since announced that its next roster will air exclusively on the big screen before moving on to premium video-on-demand platforms.
Another positive point is the lack of competition at the box office. âEternalsâ opens two weeks after Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic âDuneâ and two weeks before Sony’s âGhostbusters: Afterlifeâ on November 19, hoping all three tents will have enough time for it. carry on the marquees of cinemas. “Eternals” is the only new national release this weekend.
Directed by new Oscar winner Chloe Zhao (âNomadlandâ), âEternalsâ highlights an immortal alien race sent to protect Earth from evil Deviants. The supporting cast includes Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan and Kit Harington.