Eternals, the first Marvel movie from director Chloe Zhao, scored as the second biggest worldwide bow of a Hollywood release this year.
The movie about an immortal race of superheroes who made an impact on the Earth’s history and civilizations, and starring Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, and Salma Hayek, debuted on top in all major overseas markets with international and global hauls of $90.7 million and $161.7 million, respectively.
In the domestic box office race, Eternals, the fourth directing feature of Chloe, who became the first Asian woman to win the Golden Globe best director honors last February for Nomadland, also bowed at number one.
Eternals’ $71 million take was the fourth-largest debut in North America during the coronavirus pandemic, behind Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
While the movie, which is an effort to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe, launched on top in the United States and Canada, its grosses were on the lower end of expectations. Some box office analysts had forecast that Eternals would rake in as much as $100 million.
Dune dropped to second place with $7.62 million, pushing the sci-fi tale on the desert world of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) to an $83.95 million total
Daniel Craig’s No Time to Die continued to stay solid and earned $6.18 million for a third-place rank this week. Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was the fourth spot, whose $4.47 million ticket sales made Tom Hardy’s franchise installment inch closer to the $200 million benchmark.
The animated Ron’s Gone Wrong clung to the top five on its third weekend with $3.6 million, despite bowing disappointingly.
Rounding out the rest of the magic 10, in order, were The French Dispatch ($2.6 million), Halloween Kills ($2.3 million), Spencer, Kristen Stewart’s take on Princess Diana ($2.15 million), Antlers ($2 million) and Last Night in Soho ($1.8 million).
Back to the offshore box office action, among the countries where Eternals ruled was Korea, where it triumphed as having the strongest weekend debut ($14.4 million) for a foreign title in the COVID-19 health crisis era.
The superhero movie, also featuring Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Harry Styles, and Bill Skarsgard, was a champ as well in Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Italy.
The international appeal of James Bond remains strong, as proven by No Time to Die’s turnstile receipts of $27.23 million. As predicted, the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed spy action-adventure easily crossed the $500 million overseas milestone.
No Time to Die still prevailed in China on its second weekend with a total so far of $49.3 million. That added to the 25th Bond film’s global ticket sales of $667.1 million.
Venom 2 raked in an additional $11.4 million while Dune drew $11.1 million. Denis Villeneuve’s shot at adapting Frank Herbert’s enduring 1965 novel has now amassed cumulative international sales of $246.5 million and a global total of $330.4 million.
These hit releases have two weeks of breathing space until Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, with returning stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver, comes back to life in the cineplexes.