Eternals Maintains Top Spot While Clifford Opens Strong At Box Office


Eternals continues to occupy the top spot at the box office this week. The Hollywood Reporter says that this weekend's box office saw an additional $27 million added to the domestic total for the MCU's latest. That means Chloe Zhao's picture sits at $118 million at the time of writing. Pretty good for a 10-day release in a pandemic. Even more interesting, it was able to hold off a big family feature in Clifford the Big Red Dog. That all-ages attraction even exceeded expectations with a $14 million opening weekend. Not too shabby for a hybrid release on Paramount+ and in theaters. It will be curious if Eternals can climb to the heights that Shang-Chi and Venom reached over this year. The start has been strong, but it will have to sustain the momentum to have a shot of clearing that $200 million bar. So, the MCU continues to find a way amid uncertain times.

The director had an interview with JoBlo to discuss this standalone film in the MCU. That approach is quite a bit different from some other corners of the franchise. But, Zhao says that Marvel had her back when it came to making this one really sit by itself.

"I was encouraged to make a good standalone film, very encouraged to do that. I think now the film belongs to you, not me, and we want to see how this child grows in this scary, wild, and beautiful world," Zhao began. "And then we need to watch and listen and learn and then see where we go from there. But I think, maybe I'm wrong about this, but I feel like filmmakers, it doesn't matter what genre, they tend to make the same movie over and over and over (laughs)."

THR actually spoke with the director and asked about how the practical effects played into her approach. A lot of film fans love the natural beauty and the way it contrasts to a lot of the VFX bombast in blockbuster films.

"When I pitched the film, we spent half the time talking about what and the other half talking about how. That's very important to me. Sometimes, we get excited about the what but we don't talk about how," Zhao explained about her style. "We knew that this film had to be immersive, and we knew that there had to be a level of realism to everything, from action to the Eternals in historic periods. So we, as the audience, have to actually believe that these immortal aliens have walked the planet for several thousand years. I want the audience to discover these characters and their relationship with this planet."

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