Early Eternals box office projections indicate its opening weekend will be higher than Black Widow and Shang-Chi. While the box office still has a long way to go before it gets back to 2019 levels, theaters are very much on the road to recovery amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year saw a number of high-profile titles leave an impression at the box office, with Shang-Chi even breaking the pre-pandemic record for highest Labor Day debut. Venom: Let There Be Carnage was another strong showing, posting $90.1 million domestically in its first three days.
One of the next major projects on the horizon is Marvel's Eternals, which is set to open in November. The film introduces a bevy of new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of whom are largely unknown to casual audiences. However, Marvel has demonstrated a knack for turning obscure properties into household names before, so the belief is they'll have similar success with Eternals. If the box office estimates are anything to go by, the MCU will be rewriting the record books again.
Per Box Office Pro, Eternals is projected to earn between $82-102 million domestically in its opening weekend. Even the low end of those figures would be the highest opening in Phase 4 to date. Shang-Chi posted $75.3 million in its first three days ($94.6 million for the four-day Labor Day weekend), and Black Widow earned $80.3 million in its debut.
There's still a few weeks before Eternals premieres, so these estimates could fluctuate. Still, this is a good sign for the film's commercial prospects, indicating audiences are well aware of its impending release and are looking forward to it. In fact, Eternals was voted the fall's most-anticipated movie in a Fandango poll, beating out the likes of No Time to Die, Dune, and others. That shows the strength of the Marvel brand, and illustrates even when some viewers are still wary about returning to the theater, the allure of seeing the latest MCU entry on the big screen is enough of a draw. It will be interesting to see how Eternals' projections change as reviews come in and word-of-mouth spreads.
In the pandemic era, no movie has opened with $100+ million domestically, and the high end of the Eternals estimates would have it hitting that mark. That would be an impressive feat, especially considering Eternals' long runtime, which pegs it as the second-longest MCU movie after only Avengers: Endgame. This factor limits the number of daily screenings theaters can show, which could impact Eternals' box office prospects. Regardless, it looks like all things considered, the film should be another winner for Marvel.
Source: Box Office Pro