Entertainment: 'Eternals' opens with $71M but audience response is mixed

Gemma Chan and Richard Madden have chemistry at Eternals screening

  Gemma Chan and Richard Madden have chemistry at Eternals screening Gemma Chan and Richard Madden couldn't resist bringing their on-screen chemistry to the red carpet at the Marvel screening in Rome on Sunday. The actress, 38, looked incredible in a black embellished two-piece gown, flashing a peek of her taut abs in the slinky number. © Provided by Daily Mail Co-stars: Gemma Chan and Richard Madden couldn't resist bringing their on-screen chemistry to the red carpet at the Marvel screening in Rome on Sunday The Crazy Rich Asians star looked a beauty in the sparkling co-ord, which featured diamantes along the high neckline, under the bust and at the waist.

NEW YORK (AP) — “Eternals,” one of Marvel's most ambitious efforts to expand its superhero universe, arrived in theaters with about $71 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates.

This image released by Marvel Studios shows Kumail Nanjiani in a scene from © Provided by Associated Press This image released by Marvel Studios shows Kumail Nanjiani in a scene from "Eternals." (Marvel Studios via AP)

By most studios' box-office standards, the opening was enviable. Only three other films have debuted better during the pandemic: “Black Widow” ($80.3 million), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($75.3 million) and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” ($90 million). But for Marvel's well-oiled blockbuster machine, the “Eternals” launch in some ways constituted a bump in the road in an unparalleled 26-film streak.

Eternals is the worst reviewed MCU movie since Thor The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk

  Eternals is the worst reviewed MCU movie since Thor The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk ETERNALS reviews have seen the worst Rotten Tomatoes rating for an MCU movie since Thor The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk. Both early MCU movies often come bottom in MCU movie rankings and they may now have a new contender in Eternals. Your browser does not support this video The millennia-spanning epic with an incredible ensemble cast is due to hit cinemas next week.Eternals saw some pretty positive first reactions from the first screening, with one critic even calling it a masterpiece.However, as the first reviews have crept out, the Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden movie has received a mixed reception.

Going into the weekend, forecasts had been only slightly higher at about $75 million domestically. More concerning for the Walt Disney Co. was the mixed audience response to Chloé Zhao's 157-minute movie about an immortal race of superheroes. The film is the first in the Marvel “cinematic universe” to rank “rotten” in Rotten Tomatoes' aggregate critic score, with only 47% of reviews considered positive. Audiences also gave it a lower grade — a “B” CinemaScore — than any previous MCU entry.

Director Chloe Zhao poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Eternals' on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP) © Provided by Associated Press Director Chloe Zhao poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Eternals' on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

But from the start, “Eternals” was a less charted direction for Marvel. By enlisting Zhao, whose “Nomadland” earlier this year won best picture and best director at the Academy Awards, the comic-book factory tapped a lauded filmmaker more associated with arthouse realism than computer-generated spectacle. The story, too, introduces a lesser-known alien class of superheroes, whose existence spans all of human history. With a teeming, diverse cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani, “Eternals” dared numerous introductions — including the MCU's first deaf superhero in Lauren Ridloff and the first superhero sex scene — not tried before in the franchise.

Both Eternal's Post Credit scenes explains: One suggests the most crassest MCU character (which is changed anyway)

 Both Eternal's Post Credit scenes explains: One suggests the most crassest MCU character (which is changed anyway) in the credits of Eternals are waiting for two additional scenes on Marvel fans. We explain what happens in and how they fit into big MCU. © Disney Explains both Eternals post-credit scenes: One indicates the highly crassest MCU character (which is changed anyway) with over two and a half hours of length Eternals delivers a new marvel adventure, which with equal 10 New characters and a worlds as well as centuries spanning history hardly epic could fail.

This image released by Neon shows Kristen Stewart in a scene from © Provided by Associated Press This image released by Neon shows Kristen Stewart in a scene from "Spencer." (Pablo Larrain/Neon via AP)

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, estimates the negative reception to “Eternals” cost it a modest 10% in box office. He still sees superhero films as driving the recovery of theaters. Marvel movies account for the the top four openings of the pandemic.

“'Eternals' is by no means a problem," Gross said in an email. "The film isn’t connecting the way every other Marvel film has, but the box office performance is solid and it maintains October’s level of business.”

“Eternals,” which cost about $200 million to produce, opened strongly overseas, grossing $90.7 million in 46 international territories. The film, however, didn't open in China and isn't expected to be granted a release in the future despite being directed by a China-born filmmaker. The previous Marvel release, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the studio's first Asian superhero movie, also hasn't received permission to open in China.

Eternals BANNED: Marvel movie pulled from release in Middle Eastern countries - Here's why

  Eternals BANNED: Marvel movie pulled from release in Middle Eastern countries - Here's why ETERNALS, the new Marvel movie, features the comic book franchise's first gay kiss, and now some Middle Eastern countries have quietly pulled the film's release.Marvel's first gay superhero is Eternals member Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry.

The reasons for the refusal aren't clear, but China heavily censors the films it clears for release. U.S.-China relations have grown more tense in recent years. It's also been widely noted that Zhao said in a 2013 interview that China is “where there are lies everywhere.” In April, her Oscar wins went unreported by China state-run media outlets and mentions of them were scrubbed from the internet in China.

The weekend's other major new release was “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana. The acclaimed drama, which is expected to land Stewart her first Oscar nomination, launched in 996 locations and grossed $2.1 million for Neon.

The rest of the weekend's top draws were holdovers.

In its third weekend of release, Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic “Dune” took in $7.6 million for a cumulative total of $83.9 million. Warner Bros., which has announced a sequel to “Dune,” released the film simultaneously on HBO Max.

MGM and United Artists Releasing's James Bond entry “No Time to Die” grossed $6.1 million in its fifth weekend of release, bringing its domestic haul to $143.2 million. After 31 days exclusively in theaters — much shorter than the three months most Bond films have had on the big screen before being available in the home — “No Time To Die” will be released on video-on-demand Tuesday for $20 rentals.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Eternals," $71 million.

2. “Dune,” $7.6 million.

3. “No Time to Die,” $6.2 million.

4. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” $4.5 million.

5. “Ron's Gone Wrong,” $3.6 million.

6. “The French Dispatch,” $2.6 million.

7. “Halloween Kills,” $2.4 million.

8. “Spencer,” $2.1 million.

9. “Antlers,” $2 million.

10. “Last Night in Soho,” $1.8 million

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Eternals writer Kaz Firpo confirms fate of one key character .
Did they survive?

See also