Box Office: ‘Eternals’ Opens to Mighty $9.5 Million in Thursday Previews

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    Box Office: ‘Eternals’ Opens to Mighty $9.5 Million in Thursday Previews

    “Eternals,” the latest chapter in Marvel’s sprawling, ever-expanding superhero universe, opened to a mighty $9.5 million in Thursday previews. That’s the third best preview result for the COVID era, just behind Black Widow, with $13.2 million and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” with $11.6 million. It’s just ahead of “Shang-Chi’s” $8.8 million haul. Internationally, “Eternals” is playing in 39 material markets to date, earning an estimated $19.8 million in its first two days.

    The film, which centers on a group of powerful extraterrestrial race of humanoids, is being hailed as a major step forward for inclusion — its ensemble of costumed heroes includes Marvel’s first openly gay character and first deaf protagonist. It also marks director Chloe Zhao’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning “Nomadland.”

    But reviewers have been less enthused by the finished film even as many acknowledge its history-making virtues. “Eternals” is the first Marvel-backed movie to be certified “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, with some critics griping that it’s a little too exposition heavy and a bit too dramatically inert. That may not hurt the film with fanboys and fangirls. “Eternals” is projected to open to a sizable $75 million opening — recent pandemic-era Marvel films such as “Shang-Chi” and “Black Widow” debuted to $75.4 million and $80.4 million respectively. “Black Widow” was made available to rent on Disney Plus, where it pulled in $60 million, but both “Shang-Chi” and “Eternals” are having exclusive theatrical releases.

    “Eternals” represents an important step forward in Marvel’s big screen efforts. The company is looking to introduce a new lineup of heroes after saying goodbye to fan favorites such as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America in “Avengers: Endgame.” Plus, it’s next phase will include not only big-screen entertainment, but streaming series such as current favorites “Loki” and “Wanda/Vision.” Whether this panoply of spandexed stars oversaturated the market remains to be seen, but so far the evidence suggests that moviegoers are still digging all things Marvel.

    “Eternals” is opening alongside “Spencer,” a biographical drama that’s generated Oscar buzz for Kristen Stewart’s chameleonic turn as Princess Diana. The film, directed by Pablo Larrain (“Jackie”), is being release by Neon, which will roll it out on 996 screens.

    “Eternals” boasts a large ensemble cast which includes Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan and, in a mini-“Game of Thrones” reunion, both Richard Madden and Kit Harington. Internationally, the film is playing in major markets such as South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Italy, France and Mexico.

    Published at Fri, 05 Nov 2021 14:53:46 +0000

    https://variety.com/2021/film/news/box-office-eternals-marvel-opening-night-1235105751/

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