“Eternals,” a Marvel comic book epic, is reigning supreme at the domestic box office once more.
The superhero adventure has earned a leading $27.5 million in its second weekend of release from 4,090 North American cinemas. With $118 million in box office sales through Sunday, “Eternals” surpassed the $100 million milestone in the United States and Canada. Only a few films have topped $100 million domestically in 2021, which would not have been a very significant milestone in pre-COVID era.
“Eternals” had a 61 percent dip from its $71 million premiere, putting it in the middle of Marvel’s previous pandemic releases, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (which dropped 52 percent in its second appearance) and “Black Widow” (which dropped 61 percent) (which declined 67 percent in its sophomore outing).
“Eternals,” like “Shang-Chi,” is exclusively available in theaters, although “Black Widow” debuted on Disney Plus on the same day it was released in theaters (for an additional $30 on top of monthly membership fees). “Eternals” increased its international total to $162.6 million from 49 markets, bringing the total to $281.4 million globally.
“Eternals” has received mixed reviews when compared to other previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films. It’s the only episode to have a “rotten” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, and one of the few to obtain a CinemaScore score worse than a “A” from critics. These variables had no impact on Sony’s comic book sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which had a similar critical and public response. Moviegoers, on the other hand, have developed considerably higher expectations (and standards) for Disney’s MCU, a critically and financially unparalleled property.
“Venom,” the second feature picture centered on Tom Hardy’s alien symbiote, has already surpassed $200 million in American box office, making it the second COVID-era title to do so. After nearly two months in cinemas, the film earned $4 million from 2,538 locations, bringing total revenue to $202 million. The only other picture to reach $200 million this year is “Shang-Chi,” which has earned $224 million to date and is the highest-grossing film of 2021. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” has grossed over $441 million worldwide.
Between Friday and Sunday, Paramount’s family-friendly adventure “Clifford the Big Red Dog” took in $16.4 million from 3,700 sites, placing it in second place on the American box office rankings. The picture, which is also accessible on the streaming service Paramount Plus, had a head start on the weekend by debuting in cinemas on Wednesday, grossing $22 million in its first five days of release.
“Clifford the Big Red Dog,” based on the famous children’s book series, follows 12-year-old Emily Elizabeth, who is given a little red puppy that grows into a 10-foot canine. Critics have given the film a mixed response (it has a 48 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes), while ticket purchasers have praised it (it has a “A” CinemaScore).
“We realize that given where we are with the present status of the pandemic, elements of the family audience are not ready to return to theaters,” said Chris Aronson, head of Paramount Pictures domestic distribution. “Until children’s vaccination rates improve, this distribution approach is highly effective since it allows families to choose between viewing the film in theaters or on Paramount Plus, while also fueling the exhibition pump, which we really believe in.”
Considering its hybrid release, “Clifford” got off to a good start, however experts feel it would have generated more money if it had an exclusive theatrical window before transferring to digital platforms. However, because small children have just lately been able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, family crowds have been sluggish to return to theaters, thus Paramount wanted to boost ticket sales while also promoting its embryonic streaming business. “Clifford the Big Red Dog” is a popular choice on Paramount Plus, according to Paramount, although the firm hasn’t provided any real viewing statistics to back up that claim.
“The streaming option isn’t helping these movies,” says David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research, a movie research business. “If they didn’t have it, their worth would be higher on every platform.” “Despite the tough family moviegoing conditions,” he continues, “this is a pretty strong opening.”
With $5.5 million from 3,282 domestic screens, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s sci-fi blockbuster “Dune” came in third. Denis Villeneuve directed the film, which has made $93 million in North America while also airing on HBO Max. “Dune” earned $6.8 million at the international box office this weekend, raising its abroad total to $258 million and the global total to a whopping $351.2 million.
“No Time to Die” came in fourth place with $4.6 million from 2,867 theaters across North America. In just six weeks, the latest James Bond film, starring Daniel Craig in his fifth and last tour as 007, has grossed $150 million. “No Time to Die” has reached the $700 million mark globally with $464 million in international sales, making it only the second Hollywood film in epidemic times to do so. Universal’s action adventure “F9: The Final Chapter” was the first to break that barrier.
“The Fast Saga,” which grossed $721 million worldwide. Many big-budget Hollywood films, such as “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” “Shang-Chi,” and “Venom,” have been unable to show in China (the world’s largest movie market), a factor that has likely kept those tentpoles from approaching a comparable milestone.
On the independent sector, Kenneth Branagh’s black-and-white autobiographical drama “Belfast” debuted at No. 7 on the box office charts. The well-received picture grossed $1.8 million in 580 domestic theaters, or $3,111 per site. New York City and Los Angeles had the highest attendance, followed by San Francisco and Chicago. In the next weeks, Focus will continue to broaden the footprint of “Belfast,” an awards contender.
“We’re ecstatic to see moviegoers embrace ‘Belfast’ as enthusiastically as the festival crowds, with […] a “A-” CinemaScore – all fantastic signals of the film’s word-of-mouth and durability,” said Lisa Bunnell, president of distribution at Focus. “Kenneth has written a novel about family and home that we really need right now.”
Despite the fact that “Belfast” was a strong competitor, Sony Pictures Classics’ documentary “Julia” won the week’s top screen-average among speciality titles. The drama on legendary chef Julia Child, from “RBG” producers Julie Cohen and Betsy West, was able to stir up $20,796 from five screens, averaging $4,159 per venue.
In other news, Neon’s royal drama “Spencer” expanded its theater count to 1,265 locations between Friday and Sunday, grossing $1.5 million (averaging $1,211 per location).
The film, directed by Pablo Larran and featuring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, has so far grossed $4.7 million in the United States.