Despite dismal reviews, 'Eternals' tops box office
Director Chloé Zhao works with actor Richard Madden behind the scenes while filming Eternals, the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
November 10, 2021
The latest Marvel film, Eternals, directed by Oscar-winning Director Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), took the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office over its first weekend of release, selling a strong $71 million despite getting some of the worst reviews of any MCU film to date.
What if Chloé Zhao isn’t that good? The sample size is pretty small so far, and when I look back, it’s kind of weird that Nomadland won both Best Picture and Best Director.
I really liked the film, but it doesn’t seem like a Best Picture winner to me. It’ll be interesting to see how people look back on Zhao and Nomadland in a few years, after we’ve had some distance.
And, of course, it’ll also be interesting to see how Eternals ages. So far the film has made $161 million worldwide. We call those “Marvel numbers.”
Also at the Box Office
Dune took the No. 2 spot at the domestic box office last weekend, selling another $7.6 million, upping the flick’s 10-day U.S. sales total to $83 million. Not bad for what is basically an arthouse space soap opera. The flick has already made a whopping $330 million worldwide, making it a major hit. Congrats, Denis.
Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time to Die continued to roll, taking the No. 3 spot over its fifth weekend of release, selling another $6.1 million, bringing the film’s worldwide sales total to $667 million. That makes it one of maybe 10 films over the last year to hit true blockbuster levels of sales.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage took the No. 4 spot with another $4.46 million in sales while Ron’s Gone Wrong rounded out the Top 5 with $3.6 million, upping the children’s flick to just over $17 million.
Wes Anderson’s long-delayed and much-anticipated The French Dispatch finally saw a wide-ish release, opening on 1,200 screens across the country but selling just $2.6 million. So far the flick, easily one of the year’s most creative, has sold $8.4 million in the U.S. and about $16 million worldwide. Bummer.
Someday I hope to see Wes have a major hit. Dispatch clearly isn’t that movie. In fact, I’d probably call it his most artsy film to date. Can’t wait to see it again.
New This Week
This weekend will see the wide release of Clifford the Big Red Dog and Focus Features’ Belfast.
I don’t really have anything to say about Clifford. I can’t really get too excited about Belfast, either. From what I’ve read, it’s basically Kenneth Branagh doing his version of Alfonso Cuarón’s brilliant Roma.
Branagh is clearly a talented guy, but I just never like his stuff. He certainly isn’t qualified to riff on Alfonso Cuarón’s work. So it’s not the best week of the year for new releases, but there’s plenty already playing to keep us all busy.
There are a whole lot of 2021 films I haven’t seen yet, but I figured, what the heck, why not share a list of my favorite films that I’ve seen so far in 2021:
15. Old (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)
14. Inside (dir. Bo Burnham)
13. The Velvet Underground (dir. Todd Haynes)
12. Stillwater (dir. Tom McCarthy)
11. Godzilla vs. Kong (dir. Adam Wingard)
10. No Sudden Move (dir. Steven Soderbergh)
9. Annette (dir. Leos Carax)
8. Zola (dir. Janicza Bravo)
7. The Card Counter (dir. Paul Schrader)
6. Roadrunner (dir. Morgan Neville)
5. The Green Knight (dir. David Lowery)
4. The Little Things (dir. John Lee Hancock)
3. The French Dispatch (dir. Wes Anderson)
2. Pig (dir. Michael Sarnoski)
1. Judas and the Black Messiah (dir. Chaka King)