The comic book adaptation — starring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie — debuts in North America and most major moviegoing markets on Friday. Through the weekend, “Eternals” is expected to dominate over global box office charts with projections to bring in $75 million to $80 million in the U.S. and Canada, and another $55 million overseas.
So far, mediocre reviews do not appear to be slowing down the latest installment in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Eternals” had the strongest start in Korea with $2.6 million, followed by France with $1.6 million, Italy with $700,000 and Taiwan with $600,000. Disney estimates that “Eternals” is pacing 85% ahead of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (which opened to $56 million internationally) and 20% ahead of “Black Widow” (which opened to $78 million internationally) at the same time in similar territories.
“Eternals,” like the other two Marvel movies that premiered in theaters this year, doesn’t have a release date in China, where comic book adventures have proven to be hugely popular. It won’t play in Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries, due to its inclusion of a storyline about gay superheroes, which could curb ticket sales as well. However, its exclusive theatrical release (unlike “Black Widow,” which landed day-and-date on Disney Plus) should help box office revenues in the long run.
Separate from Wednesday’s early opening in some countries, Disney has indicated “Eternals” is pulling in solid preview numbers in Mexico and Brazil. In the coming days, the film is bowing in Australia, Croatia and Greece, among other international locations.
Directed by Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), “Eternals” spotlights an immortal alien race sent to protect Earth from the evil Deviants. The supporting cast includes Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan and Kit Harington.