Disney's 'Eternals' Opens With Strong Overseas Collections

Despite mixed critical reviews, The Walt Disney Company's (DIS) latest release Eternals has earned $9.5 million on its opening day in international markets. That figure is the third-highest opening this year after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow, Disney's previous releases.

Eternals, which is part of Disney’s lucrative Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is expected to bring in between $75 million to $80 million over the weekend in the United States and Canada, where it releases today, and $55 million overseas. It doesn't have a release date in China, home to the world's biggest box-office and the second-biggest market for Marvel movies since 2012.

Key Takeaways

  • Disney's latest release Eternals has garnered impressive overseas collections.
  • The movie has received mixed reviews from critics.
  • Analysts say that the movie may benefit from the absence of major studio releases.

A New Storyline Receives Mixed Reception 

Eternals is the latest instalment of the MCU and an attempt by Disney to chart a new storyline for its lucrative franchise after an end to the Avengers series. With a diverse cast directed by an Oscar-winning Chinese-American filmmaker and multiple storylines, the movie seems of the current moment.

But those impressive credentials do not seem to have translated to movie magic, according to critics. Some have called its storyline "hectic," and others write that it is "big, beautiful, and empty."

On movie-ratings site Rotten Tomatoes, Eternals holds a score of 50% and is the lowest-rated movie from the Marvel universe. According to Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Geetha Ranganathan, the box office performance of Eternals may benefit from the absence of another big release until Nov. 19, when Sony Pictures releases Ghostbusters – Afterlife. "Eternals may have long legs," she wrote in a research note.

November has been the highest-grossing month for movies between 2015 and 2019. But analysts write that even a good box-office performance for Eternals may not be enough to salvage a box-office still finding its legs after a debilitating shutdown. " ... October may be the high point for a while. Multiple films in November will need to better these estimates (for box office gross) to reach even October's stronger results," wrote Tom Brueggerman, box-office editor at online publication IndieWire.

Eternals was made on a budget of $200 million, and Disney has opted for a theatrical release strategy for the movie. The entertainment giant has already made bank at the domestic box-office this year. Four out of the top 10 movies in 2021 were distributed by Disney. Its September release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the year's biggest grosser.

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  2. Variety. Box Office: Eternals Kicks Off Internationally With $7.6 Million. Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.

  3. CNBC. Shang-Chi Doesn't Have A Release Date in China. This Chart Shows Why That's A Big Deal. Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.

  4. Wall Street Journal. Eternals Review: Heroic Characters, Hectic Story. Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.

  5. The Verge. Eternals Is "Big, Beautiful, and Empty". Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.

  6. Bloomberg. 'Eternals' Earns Worst Rotten Tomatoes Score of Any Movie. Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.

  7. IndieWire. A Weaker 'Eternals' Box Office May Just Be One Of The Many Issues In A Likely November Slowdown. Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.

  8. Box Office Mojo. Domestic Box Office for 2021. Accessed 5 Nov. 2021.