‘The Eternals’ made $71 million in the US, and opened with $161 million globally

16th Rome Film Festival, photocall film 'Eternals', Rome, Italy

After the Eternals’ opening weekend, Rotten Tomatoes has the critics’ score standing at 48% rotten, still the lowest critics’ score ever for a Marvel film. The audience score is much better though – 81% of viewers liked the movie, despite the critical thrashing and despite the qualms from a lot of Marvel stans that the film would be bad because it’s directed by a woman and it has a diverse cast. The Eternals ended up coming just short of the box-office predictions:

“Eternals” soared to the top of the weekend box office chart, buoyed by mania for all things Marvel. But its $71 million debut fell just shy of more bullish projections, which had the superhero film debuting to $75 million to $80 million. That’s a sign, perhaps, that the iffy reviews muted “Eternals’” results or a signal that the underlying intellectual property, the story of a group of god-like extraterrestrials, didn’t have the resonance of other comic book adaptations. Marvel has successfully introduced lesser-known heroes, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, to movie fans and spawned successful franchises with them, but that series got a lift from critics and also debuted in a time before anyone had ever heard of COVID.

“Eternals” still scored the fourth-best opening weekend for any movie during the pandemic era, sliding in behind Marvel’s own “Black Widow” ($80.3 million) and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($75.3 million) as well as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” ($90 million), which was made by Sony but based on a Marvel comic creation. It’s an impressive number — and any other studio would be thrilled to have a launch of that size for its movie, especially given the challenging theatrical market — but, for a Marvel venture, it’s hard to not view it as falling short of sky-high expectations. Heavy the head that wears the box office crown and all that. Internationally, “Eternals” took in $90.7 million, bringing its global haul to an impressive $161.7 million. The film is playing in several major markets including South Korea, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico and Australia.

[From Variety]

I mean, the box office is still sluggish because of the pandemic and I’m sure there are millions of people who would just prefer to wait a week or two to see the latest Marvel movie. There’s not the sense of urgency anymore to see movies on opening weekend, especially since the pandemic “normalized” watching new movies from the comfort of home. That being said, the negativity about the box office reminds me of the political negativity about the Biden administration: for so many people – and perhaps for Marvel – the glass will never be half-full. It doesn’t matter that the Eternals opened with $161.7 worldwide for a film directed by a Chinese woman and starring the most diverse cast in Marvel history. It matters, to those people, that the film fell short of “bullish” prognostications.

Variety also had another theory about why critics were hyper-critical of the Eternals – utter critical snobbery about Chloe Zhao, and the belief that Zhao was slumming it by directing a Marvel movie. Nevermind that Zhao went to Marvel herself and pitched.

World Premiere Of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame'

World Premiere Of Marvel Studios' 'Avengers: Endgame'

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Marvel and Backgrid.

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48 Responses to “‘The Eternals’ made $71 million in the US, and opened with $161 million globally”

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  1. Sierra says:

    These critics are white men who believes that only white men directed movies are good. For them, only people like Scorsese make good movies 🙄

    Eternals has already passed its budget (200m) in 3 days. They earned 161 plus another 100 million from advertisements (deadline article confirmed this).

    Word of mouth is good with this movie and all of these earnings are without China.

    • Watson says:


    • Eve says:


    • GrnieWnie says:

      yup, great point. I love Chloe’s movies. Her work is just so poignant…I’ve seen several now. Surprised to see her go for a Marvel film but totally understand the desire to grow and explore in her craft. I hope she goes on to many more successes.

    • Onceinawhile says:

      I don’t know, I went to the cinema to watch it for the first time in 2 years, I was really excited, I love Gemma Chan, loved the rider and nomadland, but I thought it was terrible. I wanted to leave after 30min but I stayed. Gemma was so wooden and I only then realised that she has a limited range. The whole cast had very little chemistry, the storytelling was disappointing. And I’m Asian, I was so pumped to see an Asian lead and directed movie. Made me a bit sad to be honest.

  2. Seaflower says:

    I really enjoyed it.

  3. Sofia says:

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I hope Zhao and the cast are still proud of the film they put out. Despite critics reactions, it seems the general audience is enjoying it. Amongst fans, I can see it being a divisive (you’ll either hate it or love it) film but it’ll improve in their minds as time goes on.

  4. Jessie Quinton says:

    Saw it my boys, and they are super pumped for a sequel — if there is one!

    • Lightpurple says:

      It did end with quite a cliffhanger and I’m actually more excited for the possibilities in a sequel than I was for anything happening in the rest of the film.

      • Oliphant says:

        That’s such a good point! I saw it over the weekend and wasn’t that impressed but a sequel could be great!

    • HeatherC says:

      I saw it this weekend as well. Hoping there is a sequel. And the mid and end credit scenes! Us old school Marvel fans are stoked (old school meaning familiar with the comics not just the movies..two characters introduced into the MCU!)

    • Mike says:

      The word, for now, is that there may not be a sequel unless this movie does well financially but the characters will be back in other MCU movies

  5. LoonyTunes says:

    I’m a marvel Stan and I didn’t like it. It was sluggish and they did Angelina wrong with that character. Salma also phoned it in. I have no idea what Kumail was trying to do with the mannerisms of his character, but it didn’t work for me. I really wanted to love it (for the director and the Diversity) but it felt half-assed to me.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Kumail’s character was the comic relief for the film.

      • Levans says:

        The comic relief had his own comic relief?! I saw it this weekend and thought it was pretty bad for a marvel film. It was bloated and overly long. The pacing was off and for all the representation, the Eternals visited every continent but Africa. We’re just going to ignore the largest inhabited continent?!

    • Léna says:

      Agreed about Angelina’s character. It was the weak link for me. But I liked the movie overall!

    • Oliphant says:

      Yeah it wasn’t great, it looked beautiful but was pretty dull and I was so distracted by Angelina’s terrible wig I couldn’t take her Seriously, which was gutting as it’s now a rare treat to see her in a new movie. I’m glad i spoke with my money to back a diverse cast and a female director though, seeing it make bank knowing my money contributed makes me feel good. There’s been so many mediocre marvel movies, what’s the big deal with having another one that makes money.

      Maybe I’m not the audience, I thought endgame was such a huge bloated bore, but I was really looking forward to new superheroes and a fresh film. Fingers crossed for the new captain marvel movie!

      • Lightpurple says:

        Endgame was a huge, bloated bore once they undid the snap. The whole final third of the film was unnecessary.

      • Becks1 says:

        I thought Endgame was stupid. I say this to Marvel fans and they look at me like I have two heads lol.

      • Case says:

        I loved Infinity War (it’s probably my favorite Marvel movie) and thought Endgame was stunningly bad and stupid. Just a horrible, nonsensical mess and a very disappointing, tonally inconsistent followup to Infinity War. There were so many things wrong with it and it shocks me that so many fans love it.

        (On the flip side, a lot of people hated the final Star Wars installment and I loved it despite some flaws, so perhaps I just don’t have popular opinions lol).

    • Miss Melissa says:

      I think it lost it in the editing room. Trying to avoid spoilers

      Too much exposition and a jump into a story told by flashback and words. There was no time to build emotional attachments in the first half.

      The best films show and don’t tell. They could have used all the exact same flashback scenes in chronological order without exposition and just let it unfold and build and it would have made more sense and felt better. They still could have built in their secret reveals etc and it would have worked. We would have gone through their history with them and come to care about them more.

      Still, it was a set up film, and looking forward to the new members of the MCU.

      • dj says:

        Agreed. It was slow and long for me. Although, it was more (I think) a brain teaser kind of movie. One that makes you think about free will/determination. I would have really known more back story re: all the characters especially Angelina’s character. I did not have much of an emotional connection to them. I did like the film and agreed with about 80% liking it.

  6. Oh_Hey says:

    “The audience score is much better though – 81% of viewers liked the movie, despite the critical thrashing and despite the qualms from a lot of Marvel stans”

    I knew it – when I was reading all those bad reviews I really didn’t want this to be a diversity issue but just like Captain Marvel or casting Zoe Saldana or Zendaya, its a messy fan and reviewer issue. Stories with all white casts are exciting and “bring the comic to life” but stories with diversity baked in somehow “fall flat”. I like comic movies but I’m the first to admit that they are all kind of the the same story. It just do not believe that the template is suddenly terrible because the characters are female, gay, or brown. It’s a problem with the critics “connecting” to characters or the story and we all know why. That’s not the films problem.

  7. Lightpurple says:

    Not my favorite MCU film, not even in the top 5 but an enjoyable enough movie experience although the special effects were a bit weak for a MCU film and the film seemed to lack energy for long periods of time, which was odd considering the cast. Too many scenes of Gemma Chan just staring off into space, looking confused.

  8. Becks1 says:

    I’m glad its doing well (lol at how it “fell short”, I am sure Disney is happy with the box office thus far) but I had been planning on seeing it in the theater with my boys and I think its just too long for them at 2 hours 40 minutes. So we will wait for it to be available at home, but I am willing to pay for early access for it or whatever may be available, but I don’t think Disney is planning on doing that.

  9. Amy Bee says:

    A film with a diverse cast, directed by a woman of colour, even though she’s an Oscar winner, make some people very uncomfortable.

  10. Zut Alors says:

    I’m seeing it on Thursday. Can’t wait!

  11. Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

    I can totally understand where some reviewers are coming from in that it is more of a character piece than an action film, Captain English Patient maybe. It was very different from any other MCU film. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this particular movie has tie-in Happy Meal toys. But it wasn’t bad, I love the humorous moments, and really like that I felt entirely differently about the characters at the end than I thought I would.

    But yeah, I can also very fairly understand why people wouldn’t like it without it being a conspiracy or an attempt to keep anyone down.

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      I like Captain English Patient! 🤣 And I agree, I came out thinking about the characters very differently at the end, enjoyed the journey to get there and thought it was well-done (though I did think there were a few points of drag early in the film and I think I agree with the commentator above who suggested doing a straight chronology rather than flashbacks might have worked better.) but overall I had fun and enjoyed it. I made sure to go this weekend to support it!

    • FF says:

      It’s probably got a Happy Meal merchandising deal because they wanted to maximize money-making in case the usual vocal minority tried to sabotage it. Can’t say they were wrong with that idea.

  12. JayBlue says:

    Saw it, loved it, but get why other mcu stans might not.

  13. Case says:

    I feel like movie industry people need to stop comparing 2021 box office numbers to 2019 box office numbers. The world is different. Just because theaters aren’t open doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. And frankly, even as someone who loves going to the movies, the movie theater will be one of the last places I revisit — poor ventilation, people eating and talking, etc.

  14. Daisy says:

    After watching it, I understand why some complained that it wasn’t “very Marvel”. And it’s probably the reason I really liked it, most of of the Marvel stuff I watched didn’t do anything for me (I LOVED WandaVision though). I did think they could’ve done without a few scenes from the begging of the movie. Also Barry Keoghan and Lauren Ridloff were standouts to me, I hope we get more of them next time. And I absolutely loved the post credit scenes, can’t wait for the sequel!

  15. Coco says:

    The big this about this is that these numbers are with out China market, since The Chinese government still seem to have a boycott on Chloe.

  16. Nic919 says:

    If this was about the fans not liking it that would be one thing, but if movie critics are rating this lower than the ant man movies, and the later iron man movies and a few other mediocre marvel entries then there was a serious bias issue there. Basically this one was different than the usual formula marvel does and the movie critics could not accept this.

  17. grabbyhands says:

    The movie wasn’t perfect, but the amount of hate it got from critics is a head scratcher.

    We saw it last night and I liked it – it was a visual stunner, and I liked the story development. They took on a huge task and mostly succeeded. Character development took a bigger hit unfortunately, and this is where this might have worked better in an extended series – I think we could have learned more about them individually and what they all did during the intervening 5K years (instead of just a few) and I think having more time would have made the ending have more impact.

    I hope Marvel ignores the haters and all the pressed fanboys who are upset again that a woman directed and that it has characters that aren’t all white/straight. I’d love a sequel.

  18. ReginaGeorge says:

    Saw it. It was ok. The first half hour dragged. This movie was more about set up and less about fighting/action. Shang Chi was the exact opposite. Lots of action and choreography and weak/predictable story. Eternals was visually pretty, but not as exciting. There were many themes that may have been missed upon the first watch. This movie will be one that probably ages better and will make more sense upon a re-watch, especially once phase 4 gets rolling along further.

    If you go into it expecting Infinity Wars level action, you will be disappointed.

  19. FF says:

    I’m never going to forget that these critics dogpiled the diverse movie – and not just token diverse where only the PoC die at the end) directed by a WoC because they could. And were so desperate to label it a failure. (All while pushing Dune and ignoring that it’s an alt-right favourite.)

    Going keep and eye on what they say for the next two MCU films, as they are headlined by and directed by white men.

  20. Grant says:

    I saw this this weekend and enjoyed it much more than I was expecting to given its critical reception. I don’t think it’s anywhere near the worst MCU movie (Thor 2 would like a word). The end was my favorite part, I thought that final showdown was really cool and it was neat to see all of the Eternals come together and kick ass.

  21. bobafelty says:

    The rule of thumb these days with movies: take the budget ($200 million) and double it to account for marketing and ads. The Eternals movie needs to make at least $400 million just to break even. This number does not include the very real costs of delaying the movie by months due to the pandemic. So it’s not a flop, but it needs to not have a huge week 2 drop off in audience to keep making enough money just to break even.

    Disney and Marvel incentivize reviewers to give positive reviews with early screenings, swag, and other premium access. So that makes it even more shocking that the critic’s score is under 50%!

    • FF says:

      The critics crapped on the movie because they were ticked off that their indie darling had made a Marvel movie. How dare she! Let’s punish her for being a talented director.

      I notice no one else got this treatment. Just the Academy award-winning WoC. Film snobbery and misogyny are alive and well.

      Oh, and then there’s the vocal minority who do not want the diversity and complain about it every chance they get.

  22. GamerGrrl says:

    Former movie critic here – I take all reviews with a grain of salt, because I know all the things that can influence a review. Yes, there are awful people out there – but it’s also a JOB. And frankly, a terrible one.
    Imagine going to a 7 a.m. screening of a truly terrible movie, followed by 9 hours in the office interviewing, writing, and running to screenings. A movie like The Eternals will hold a set of seats for critics at the standard 7:30-ish audience preview, which means skipping dinner to make the screening, because they are literally waiting for you to arrive.
    Dinner is popcorn. Add a nearly 3-hour action film followed by rushing back to write the review and, somewhere around 1 a.m., wondering if you can get to McDonald’s without passing out, because you’re starving but using the stove seems like a bad idea.
    I can’t tell you how many action movies I gave less than stellar reviews over the years because they either (1) added to my already throbbing headache or (2) I just wasn’t in the mood/wanted to go home.

  23. Xilco8 says:

    I watched The Eternals Sunday. My first MCU film. I enjoyed it for the most part. It was long and I wasn’t too interested in the Sersi and Ikaris relationship but I really liked Gilgamesh and Thena, Makkari and Druig and of course Sprite. I would like to see a sequel.

  24. Krystina says:

    My son and I saw this the other day. (We had free movie tickets)
    It was SO worth seeing in the theatre. The critics are idiots.
    Yes, there were a couple of shaky moments that could have been better, but overall it was AMAZING!

  25. Amy says:

    I saw it this past weekend and really enjoyed it! I thought it was a feat how they managed to introduce so many characters and make them all memorable. Also loved the cinematography–gorgeous.