‘Eternals’ Targets $75 Million Opening – But 2nd Weekend Will Be the Real Test

If word-of-mouth is as mixed as critics’ reviews, the MCU could suffer a rare box office freefall

While there’s much ado online about the unprecedently mixed reception for Marvel Studios’ “Eternals,” box office trackers haven’t budged from their projections for a $75-80 million opening. Fandango is reporting that presales are still going strong with $13 million in tickets already sold — 23% ahead of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which had a $75.8 million three-day opening in September.

The second weekend, however, will be the real test for Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s MCU debut. With a 53% Rotten Tomatoes score, “Eternals” is the first ever MCU film to sport that infamous green splat on the review aggregator site. It’s beneath the franchise low of 66% for “Thor: The Dark World,” a film generally considered among Marvel fans to be one of if not the weakest of the 26 films in the Marvel canon. MCU has never been in a situation where it has had to shrug off bad reviews, and a movie from a director fresh off of her Oscar triumph for “Nomadland” was definitely not expected to be the first one to have to do so.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster