Marvel's Eternals is being projected for a $75 million opening weekend box office haul, according to current estimates before preview night kicks off. Eternals will be opening in a whopping 4,000 locations, and Thursday previews will begin at 6 pm; in other words, Disney and Marvel Studios are seemingly padding every corner of this opening "weekend" block to give Eternals a shot at an impressive opening weekend number. Some added strategy may be necessary, as Eternals is not doing so hot in terms of critical reviews - in fact, it's officially Marvel Studios' worst-reviewed film to date.
In our official Eternals review, Comicbook.com's Jamie Jirak stated that a convoluted story and long runtime makes Eternals something of a muted viewing experience:
"Eternals succeeds in being a visual spectacle, but often falls flat when it comes to story... [it] will likely be one of the more divisive films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The strong characters and visuals will be enough for some fans to consider it one of the best of the franchise while others will find its messy plot and extended runtime a hard pill to swallow."
Right now, Eternals falls in the middle of presales for Marvel's slate of 2021 films; it's ahead of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but still pacing behind Black Widow. While the film's $80M original projection has been scaled down, tracking indicates that a wide demographic of viewers (particularly men and various peoples of color) are interested in seeing Marvel's most diverse cast of heroes yet on the big screen.
Analysts are now locked into a wait-and-see game of whether or not Eternals will imitate the run of another big comic book movie this year: Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Both of Tom Hardy's Venom movies have been cut down by critics, but still managed to be major box office successes. Then again, time could be a major factor: Venom 2 runs at a tight 97 minutes, while Eternals approaches the 3-hour mark, and apparently makes every minute of that runtime felt. If word-of-mouth for Eternals isn't strong enough, getting viewers on the fence to sign up for that epic runtime is going to be a major uphill battle to fight.
Marvel's Eternals opens only in theaters on November 5. Preview night begins on Thursday, November 4th at 6 pm.