Eternals Stuns With $71 Million Opening Weekend

Coming in slightly higher than Friday’s weekend estimates but lower than the pre-release predictions, Marvel’s Eternals debuted with a $71 million opening weekend. That’s the fourth-highest three-day haul of the pandemic era, in a top five that includes two other Marvel films and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, a Sony release based on Marvel characters.

Eternals fell just slightly short of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ $75 million debut. Both films opened smaller than Black Widow, which made $80 million in its first three days despite a day-and-date release on Disney+ (for a premium access fee).

Several factors could have affected Eternals’ muted opening. It’s the second-longest Marvel Cinematic Universe film, behind Avengers: Endgame. It is also the worst-reviewed movie of the series on the aggregator platform Rotten Tomatoes, where it sits with a 47% score — a rating that has been steadily declining since its low-70s debut. Audiences aren’t thrilled either, with CinemaScore reporting a franchise-low “B” grade.

RELATED: 'Eternals': Chloé Zhao Reveals How She Brought THOSE Characters to the MCU

Sprawling in scope but tediously high on exposition, Eternals is directed by recent Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao. It features an all-star ensemble that includes Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Richard Madden and Kit Harington. Eternals took in another $90 million internationally, for a worldwide total of just over $160 million.

Hot off the news that its sequel is set to begin filming in summer 2022, Dune inched closer to the $85 million mark domestically with another $7.6 million this weekend. Directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on the science-fiction novel by Frank Herbert, the dense epic debuted with the largest opening weekend haul for a Warner Bros. film that had also been made available, day-and-date, on the HBO Max streaming service. Pleased with its performance, WB soon gave the green light to the long-speculated sequel, which was teased in the film itself. Villeneuve had made the decision to split Herbert’s source novel into two parts fairly early in the adaptation process. Dune’s worldwide total stands at over $330 million, against a reported $165 million budget.

There is only one more WB film remaining in the studio’s controversial 2021 release strategy — Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections — before WB returns to a more conventional model next year. Dune: Part Two will be released exclusively in theaters in 2023.

Speaking of unconventional releases, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final film as James Bond, No Time to Die, is just a week away from being made available to rent. Which means that there’s only so much more juice it can squeeze out of its box office run. The film added another $6.2 million this weekend for a running domestic total of $143 million. Internationally, the film stands at just over $610 million, which is around half of what Skyfall made at the end of its theatrical run nearly a decade ago, but ahead of other Craig Bonds such as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Venom 2 took the fourth spot with $4.5 million, which puts it just a couple of million shy of crossing the $200 million mark domestically. Only one other film has crossed that milestone this year — Shang-Chi ($223 million). Internationally, Venom 2 has made over $400 million, which is around half of what the original film made in 2018. But crucially, Venom 2 still has an all-important China release to look forward to. The original Venom made almost $300 million in the Middle Kingdom.

The top five was rounded out by the animated film Ron’s Gone Wrong, which pulled $3.6 million this weekend for a running domestic total of $17 million. Ron’s Gone Wrong was inherited by Disney in its takeover of 20th Century Fox, and features the voices of Jack Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms.

It remains to be seen if Eternals can maximize its box office potential despite the worrisome signs — the daunting run-time, the lukewarm reception, and the less-than-popular source material — before Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives in theaters on November 19.

'Dune: Part Two' Will Reportedly Start Filming in July of 2022

Even then, fans will have to wait until October of 2023 for the sequel.

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Rahul Malhotra (148 Articles Published)

Rahul Malhotra is a Weekend News Writer for Collider. From Francois Ozon to David Fincher, he'll watch anything once. Swing and a miss>Measured victory. Also, #JusticeForHan. (He/Him).

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