“Eternals” Delivers Impressive $71 Million Opening


November 5-7, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Eternals $71 million
Dune  $7.6 million
No Time to Die $6.1 million
Let There Be Carnage 
$4.4 million
Ron's Gone Wrong $3.6 million

You can't stop the Marvel train, at least not yet. Despite a "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Eternals delivered an impressive $71 million debut. That's not "game-changing" as the ads touted, but still solid. Once again, these were characters only the most die-hard comic book fans knew about before the movie announced, but Marvel is the brand, and the audience showed up. The film will have another week to clean up, as it won't have any competition until Ghostbusters: Afterlife in two weeks, but how well it holds will tell the story if this will reach the $200 million mark only Shang-Chi has hit so far.

Dune slid to second place, dropping another 50 percent. It's only at $83 million domestically so far, but has earned $330 million worldwide, including impressive showings in France and Russia. No Time to Die actually held remarkably well in its fifth weekend in theaters, sliding only 20 percent. It still hasn't cracked $150 million here, but is at two-thirds of a billion worldwide.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage didn't quite get to the $200 million threshold I expected, but with all the oxygen sucked up by another comic book movie, that's not too surprising. It will get there next week. The most surprising entry in the top 5 is Ron's Gone Wrong, 20th Century Fox animated movie that got dumped by Disney. It pulled up from 8th place, falling a tiny 3.8 percent.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Souvenir Part II made it two weeks in a row, adding 12 more screens while average $2,719.
  • The French Dispatch finally went wide, adding 400 more screens but experiencing virtually no change in its gross.
  • Spencer, the eagerly anticipated Princess Diana biopic starring Kristen Stewart, opened on just under 1,000 screens. Its $2.1 million haul was good enough for eighth place.

Next week:

The only new wide release is Belfast, Kenneth Branagh's semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in Northern Ireland. It won the People's Choice Award at Toronto this year, and is expected to be a major awards contender. But it won't be a big box office threat. Anything around $8 million would be a good showing.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.