Even considering how many obstacles Marvel Studios has faced since the Infinity Saga ended, the MCU is thriving in 2021. All four of Phase 4’s Disney+ shows have consistently ranked at the top of the streaming charts all year, while Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings boasted two of the best opening weekends of the COVID era.
This all preceded the long-awaited release of Marvel Studios’ Eternals, which officially made its theatrical debut over the weekend following its months-long promotional tour.
Over the past few weeks leading up to its debut, Eternals has had quite the roller-coaster ride in terms of critics' reviews and predictions of how fans would receive the MCU's 26th full-length feature. Official reviews have ranked the film as one of the lowest-rated in MCU history. However, fans are coming back with an overwhelmingly positive outlook for how Marvel is pushing its story forward.
These mixed reactions led to many questions about how well the latest MCU outing would do at the box office. Well, those results are here, and just as the rest of these Eternals' lead-up to release has been, those results are mixed.
Eternals Stars Celebrate Opening Weekend
Marvel Studios' Eternals earned $71 million at the domestic box office over its opening weekend. This opening is less than the $75 million debut that Disney had projected, yet still ranks as the fourth-highest domestic opening weekend of the pandemic era, behind July's Black Widow ($80 million with day-and-date Disney+ release), September's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($75 million), and October's Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($90 million).
Worldwide, Eternals earned $161 million at the box office, which ranks as the second-highest post-COVID opening weekend behind Universal Studios' F9. This success prompted two of the film's stars to celebrate these box office numbers on social media.
Sersi actress Gemma Chan simply tweeted three "flushed" emojis ("😳😳😳") along with the news boasting Eternals' worldwide box office results.
Kingo star Kumail Nanjiani held none of his enthusiasm back over these results, revealing how many people have messaged him after seeing the film in theaters:
"Wow! $161.7m globally! Amazing. Thrilled so many people went to see this stunning film. All weekend I’ve been getting texts from my family from all over the world. Aunts/uncles/cousins in Pakistan saw it in theaters! I’M FINE MY EYES ARE DUSTY"
Marvel Striving for Eternals' Box Office Success
Considering how widely varied reviews have been for Eternals for the past few weeks, it seems only fitting that the box office results came slightly under projections. Although the expected box office numbers were about $4 million higher than what came to fruition, the movie's stars are still elated about how fans are reacting to their new film.
As evidenced by Phase 4's theatrical start, Marvel Studios still remains a juggernaut in the box office game with three of the top four domestic openings of the pandemic era. Over the past couple of weeks, the negative critics' reviews likely helped lead to the film's underwhelming opening, at least by Disney's standards, although it still pushed through those hurdles for an impressive debut.
While Eternals may have fallen short of some expectations in the USA, fans worldwide came out in droves to see the new outing, as the film only came $2 million short of the highest worldwide box office gross of the year. The numbers will be something to pay close attention to as more fans take in the experience, but it's clear that Marvel is showing no signs of slowing down as 2021 comes to an end.
Eternals is now playing in theaters worldwide.