The ongoing global pandemic has badly affected the entertainment industry, forcing movie theaters to close and movie and TV productions to suffer delays. As vaccination began to roll out globally, so has the gradual reopening of cinemas, leading to films receiving exclusive theatrical releases.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings became the first Marvel film to have a 45-day exclusive theatrical debut. The movie's release was during the height of the Delta Variant surge, causing some moviegoers to become hesitant to go to theaters.
Despite that, Shang-Chi blew away expectations by achieving a record-breaking opening during Labor Day weekend. As a result of the film's success, Disney and Marvel decided to greenlight exclusive theatrical releases for their next slate, which include Chloe Zhao's Eternals.
Eternals is the third MCU film in the franchise's Phase 4 slate and features a stellar cast that includes the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Don Lee, Kit Harington, and Gemma Chan.
In the past weeks, marketing has been ramping up for Eternals, and just recently, ticket sales have been announced. Now, it seems that moviegoers are keen on seeing the film on the big screen as evidenced by a new box office report.
Eternals Setting Record With Early Tickets Earnings
Following Eternals' tickets going on sale on Monday at 9:00 am ET, Deadline reported that estimates for the ensemble movie's advance sales are outpacing Marvel Studios' two other Phase 4 films released earlier this year.
Advance sales for Eternals are estimated to have earned $2.6M within the first 24 hours; this is 86% ahead of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' $1.4M and 30% ahead of the $2M pulled in by Black Widow within the respective first-day tickets sales windows.
It was also reported that Eternals represents AMC Theatres' largest day-one sales for 2021.
Will Eternals Overtake Shang-Chi's Box Office Haul?
Many would agree that the hype surrounding Eternals is sky-high, mostly due to the combined might of its star-studded cast and its diverse characters. An added bonus is the film's connection to the larger MCU, giving fans a chance to spot major references to the Avengers universe and its future ties.
This latest report is an early good sign for Eternals, and this could hint that it is likely to potentially gain another record-breaking weekend for Marvel Studios and Disney.
Chloe Zhao's directorial debut in the MCU has also been highly praised by the film's cast, crew, and even Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. The lauded efforts could also be a key to the Eternals' box office success.
After Shang-Chi's success, Venom: Let There Be Carnage followed the same path, and it appears that Eternals seems poised to produce good numbers at the box office as well. While the COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near its end, the impressive performance of films' early ticket sales should serve as a key motivator for studios.
The United States has opened cinemas for a while now, and it looks like other countries around the world are following in their footsteps. Asian countries like the Philippines are in the midst of gradually opening movie theaters again, and this could be beneficial for the film's worldwide box office tally.
Eternals is set to premiere in theaters worldwide on November 5, 2021.