While Marvel’s Eternals from director Chloé Zhao stayed at the top of the box office for it’s second week, bringing in another $27.5 million over the three-day span taking the film up to $118.7 million domestically and $281 million worldwide. In spite of easily beating Clifford the Big Red Dog (which was day-and-date released for free on Paramount+), the MCU’s latest blockbuster posterd numbers from Friday to Friday that indicated the film’s performance dropped off almost 75% and the odds are that Eternals will drop from the top spot this next weekend as it will face some stiffer competition with both Ghostbusters: Afterlife and King Richard opening.
According to Forbes:
Marvel’s Eternals dropped an expectedly harsh 74.6% on Friday, earning $7.819 million and bringing its eight-day cume to $99.084 million. The MCU flick should cross $100 million today, or just one day faster than The Incredible Hulk after that 2008 release’s $55 million (mid-summer) debut. The Friday-to-Friday drop is the third-worst drop for an MCU title behind only Black Widow, which fell 80% from a $39 million Friday and Ant-Man and the Wasp which tumbled 75% from a $33 million Friday.
However, Black Widow was concurrently available on Disney+ for $30, which cut into the repeat business and post-debut theatrical revenue. Eternals is theatrical only, with a 62% weekend drop on par with Spider-Man: Homecoming (from a $117 million debut in July 2017) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (-62% from a $76 million debut in July 2019). The Spidey flick and the Ant-Man sequel rallied over the summer with 2.8x weekend-to-finish multipliers, while Black Widow (same weekend in 2020) earned just 2.28x.
If these were bigger grosses and if the other variables (reviews, buzz, a Disney toon opening in 1.5 weeks, etc.) weren’t so perilous, this would be arguably mere trivia. But, yeah, all signs point to either comparative disapproval or (perhaps worse) comparative cultural indifference to the latest Marvel flick, at least in North America. Meanwhile, Venom: Let There Be Carnage crossed $200 million domestic today, thanks to a $1.03 million Friday (-14%). It will earn $3.83 million (-14%) in weekend seven for a $202.5 million domestic cume as it approaches the $202.8 million cume of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (in 2014) and $204 million total of last year’s Bad Boys For Life.
Clownfish TV Breaks this down:
Wow. Maybe we can figure out what’s going wrong by revisiting a few quotes from reviews of the Eternals from professional film critics:
- “Eternals, Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao’s first major studio film, is two hours and thirty-seven minutes long — some of the longest two hours and thirty-seven minutes I’ve spent in a theater.” – Cassie Da Costa, Vanity Fair
- “One of the weakest Marvel movies I’ve seen, meandering and wan. It takes place over a vast timespan in locations all over the globe (and the galaxy), yet it has the curiously claustrophobic feel of a Saturday afternoon serial filmed entirely in a windowless studio.” – Dana Stevens, Slate
- “Eternals is good at telling us where to look, at impressing us with its manufactured sense of grandeur. What it lacks is any credible sense of what’s actually worth seeing.” – K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone
Meanwhile, Venom: Let There Be Carnage hit a pandemic goal that only one other film has done, breaking the $200 million mark domestically. The only other release since the pandemic started to cross that line has been Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which is currently at $224.4 million as it made its debut on Disney+ over the weekend. What these two films have in common, unlike Black Widow, The Suicide Squad, Mortal Kombat and Dune, is they were not released day-and-date, allowing them a nice theatrical exclusive run.
For Venom 2, which has been in theaters since the beginning of October, it has pulled in roughly $430 million worldwide even after Sony bounced it around the calendar quite a bit including a last-minute move from early September to October where it pulled in $90 million in its opening weekend. Fans who saw the film are now eagerly awaiting Spider-Man: No Way Home to see just how the post-credit scene from Venom will tie into the MCU.