Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” was at least able to avoid the worst possible outcomes after its tepid reception last weekend, earning $27.5 million at the box office this weekend for a decent drop of 61% from its $71 million opening.
The comic book epic now has a domestic total of $118 million after 10 days, down from the totals reached to this point by its fellow 2021 Marvel films “Black Widow” ($131 million) and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($144 million). This was to be expected as “Black Widow” has a more recognizable hero in its lead role while “Shang-Chi” was better received and got a boost from its Labor Day weekend release.
Overseas, the film added $48 million from 49 markets, giving it a global total of $75.5 million for the weekend and $281.4 million overall. The good news for “Eternals” is that those second weekend box office numbers are stronger than for “Black Widow,” which was released as a premium title on Disney+.
In second place this weekend is Paramount’s “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” which opened just above tracking projections with $16.5 million from 3,700 locations. The family film based on the classic children’s books opened wide on Wednesday in theaters and on Paramount+ and is on pace to earn an extended opening of $22 million.
Turnout for the film was 43% kids, 35% parents and 22% general audiences, with Latinos overindexing at 45% compared to 32% from white audiences. While critics were mixed with a 48% Rotten Tomatoes score, families have embraced it with an A on CinemaScore and a 4.5/5 rating on Postrak.
It’s another small step up for family films at the box office, as concern over COVID-19 has led studios to release most films in the genre day-and-date. Paramount says it has been pleased by “Clifford”‘s performance in both theaters and on streaming, calling day-and-date with Paramount+ a “viable and successful strategy.”
Disney will try something different on Thanksgiving weekend with the animated film “Encanto,” which will be released exclusively in theaters for 30 days. That comes as the FDA has approved COVID vaccines for use in children ages 5-11, which could further increase family turnout in theaters this holiday season.
Warner Bros./Legendary’s “Dune” is in third with $5.5 million in its fourth weekend and a total of $93.1 million domestic and $351 million worldwide. MGM’s “No Time to Die” has now crossed the $150 million domestic mark after grossing $4.5 million in its sixth weekend, also adding $24 million overseas to push its total to $708 million worldwide. Co-released by Universal overseas, the Bond film is just the second Hollywood film this year to cross the $700 million global mark and is set this coming week to pass the $721 million total of “F9.”
Finally, Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” has become the second film this year to cross $200 million domestic with $4 million grossed in its seventh weekend for a $202 million total. The film also added $7.7 million this weekend for a total of $441.5 million.