It was only a few weeks ago that many insiders and analysts were projecting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals would be the first pandemic-era release to hit $100 million in its opening weekend, and they had every right to make those assumptions.
After all, October’s box office was tracking just 4% behind pre-pandemic levels, and several big hitters combined to deliver the biggest month the industry had seen since January 2020. Then when you consider that the three highest-grossing titles of 2021 in the United States are all Marvel Comics adaptations, then it looked as though records were poised to fall.
Of course, then the reviews started rolling in, which dampened a lot of the enthusiasm heading into Friday. That being said, Eternals was on track for $75 million as recently as the middle of last week, but Variety reports that it could be set to top out at less than $70 million.
A $69 million bow would still be the fifth-best of the COVID-19 age behind Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Fast & Furious 9, but it must be a disappointment for Marvel to have watched the estimates being constantly revised downwards the closer Eternals got to actually landing in theaters.