The critical consensus isn’t always the benchmark by which success is measured, but it had to sting Chloé Zhao to come off the back of Best Picture and Best Director wins at the Academy Awards for Nomadland, only to deliver the worst-reviewed installment in the world’s biggest franchise.
Not only is Eternals the lowest-rated entry in the 27-film series on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 47% tally also makes it the only one to have ever dropped below the 60% Fresh threshold, while it additionally suffered the ignominy of landing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s weakest CinemaScore.
On the plus side, audiences awarded it with a much more robust 78% rating, and it earned over $400 million at the box office, so there’s every chance we could be getting a sequel or two starring the immortal aliens. Speaking of Rotten Tomatoes, the aggregation site’s podcast debated the merits of Eternals in the latest episode, which caught the eye of Zhao herself on Instagram.
In just eight days Eternals will be added to the Disney Plus library, allowing old and new fans alike to revisit the polarizing intergalactic epic for the first, second, or even fifth time. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has already had a second installment announced, so supporters will need to keep those fingers crossed.