WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Eternals Retains No. 1 Spot with $27.5M, Dropping 61%; Clifford the Big Red Dog Takes 2nd w/ $16.42M 3-Day/$22M 5-Day Debut

Images Courtesy of Marvel Studios (Eternals), Paramount Pictures (Clifford the Big Red Dog)

Disney/Marvel’s Eternals repeated atop the North American box office this weekend with an estimated $27.5M — a drop of 61% from its $71.3M opening — as it fended off the Paramount newcomer Clifford the Big Red Dog. The latter film posted a solid opening in second place, while Focus Features’ specialty release Belfast debuted in the top 10.

The sophomore drop for Eternals was better than some were expecting given the film’s status as the first Marvel film to finish with a “Rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes — not to mention less-positive-than-usual audience sentiment (its Audience Score on the review aggregator currently stands at 80%, low for an MCU title). On the other hand, that’s still one of the largest second-weekend declines ever for a Marvel movie, similar to Ant-Man and the Wasp and Spider-Man: Homecoming, both of which dropped 62% in their sophomore frames. Eternals‘ total after 10 days of release is $118.8M.

In second place, Clifford the Big Red Dog grossed an estimated $16.42M over the three-day and $22M since opening on Wednesday, besting the studio’s $15-17M five-day projection. Notably, the family-friendly adaptation of the beloved children’s book series debuted day-and-date on the Paramount+ streaming platform, which cut into its theatrical grosses. Still, that’s a good start for the long-delayed title, which had its first full day in theaters on Wednesday (when it opened in 3,407 locations) to take advantage of the Veterans Day holiday on Thursday, when many children had the day off of school. Its footprint expanded to 3,700 locations on Friday.

Clifford’s opening frame bested the three-day start of Paw Patrol: The Movie, another recent family title that debuted day-and-date on Paramount+. The latter film took in $13.15M in its opening weekend back in August from 3,184 locations, though, unlike Clifford, it did not screen in Regal Cinemas. Like Paw Patrol, Clifford has the benefit of a built-in IP, luring family audiences who have read and enjoyed the widely loved books. It also opened the first week that children between the ages of 5 and 11 were eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine — though the impact on the opening number was probably slight given that children who received their first shot this week won’t be fully vaccinated until next month sometime.

The studio reports that Clifford over-indexed in the Midwest, south central and southern U.S. Predictably, parents and children made up 78% of the opening weekend audience.

The long-term prospects for Clifford seem bright, at least judging from the strong holds of other recent family releases. Despite posting a disappointing $7.3M opening weekend last month, Disney/20th Century Studios Ron’s Gone Wrong has held up well in subsequent weeks, having dipped less than 5% last weekend (partially due to a dearth of family-friendly content in theaters). Clifford‘s critical reception was lacking — it’s currently at 48% on Rotten Tomatoes — but the RT Audience Score is an encouraging 94% and it also received an “A” Cinemascore and a 4.5/5 on PostTrak, indicating widespread satisfaction among the target demo. Also promising was the film’s big 74% increase from Friday to Saturday.

Dune posted a strong hold in its fourth weekend of release, dropping just 29% to an estimated $5.5M in third place. The Warner Bros. title seems to be benefitting from an emphasis on the virtues of seeing it on the largest screen possible (it was shot specifically for the IMAX format, where the film has thrived) despite its simultaneous debut on HBO Max. With $93.13M to date, the sci-fi epic is primed to soar past the $100M mark within the next week or two.

No Time to Die also held well in its sixth weekend of release, dropping just 24% to an estimated $4.62M, good for fourth place. The final entry in the Daniel Craig iteration of the James Bond franchise has $150.48M to date, making it the sixth-highest-grossing Bond film of all time in North America. By the end of its run, it should surpass the Pierce Brosnan-starring Die Another Day ($160.94M), not adjusting for inflation, to land at No. 5 on the all-time tally.

Another October blockbuster, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, finished in fifth place with an estimated $4M in its seventh weekend. With $202.71M to date, the Sony hit is now the second film of the pandemic to surpass $200M in North America after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which passed the mark in late September. Let There Be Carnage is running just 4% behind the first Venom, which had $210.07M at the same point in its run.

Ron’s Gone Wrong dipped just 38% to sixth place in its fourth weekend of release with an estimated $2.2M, putting it at $20.8M to date. That’s a disappointing total for the family title, even as it has slowed its decline somewhat over the last couple of weeks.

Seventh place went to Searchlight Pictures’ The French Dispatch, which dipped 29% to an estimated $1.84M in its fourth weekend of release. The Wes Anderson-directed title has $11.62M to date – a mild total, though not bad for a specialty release amid the ongoing (albeit waning) pandemic in North America.

Belfast opened in eighth place on 580 screens with $1.8M, good for a per-screen average of $3,111. The Oscar-buzzed title has been well-received by critics, boasting a 88% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences appear to be enjoying it too based on the film’s 90% Audience Score on RT and A- Cinemascore. The audience demo predictably skewed older, with 73% of the opening weekend crowd over the age of 35. Look for it to expand further next week to try and build on its early momentum.

In ninth place was the Princess Diana pic Spencer, which grossed an estimated $1.53M after expanding to 1,265 locations for a total of $4.71M to date. Finally, Searchlight Pictures’ Antlers took in an estimated $1.2M in tenth place, giving the horror film a total of $9.64M.

OVERSEAS

Eternals grossed an estimated $48M internationally from 49 territories, including No. 1 openings in Indonesia ($3.3M) and the UAE ($1.3M) and a top finish in Russia, where it grossed $2.9M after the country’s cinemas fully reopened nationwide. Top overseas territories to date include Korea ($22M), the U.K. ($14.3M), France ($11.5M) and Mexico ($10.2M). Its international tally to date is $162.6M (sans China, where a release date is TBD) and its global total is $281.4M.

No Time to Die continued its smashing performance overseas, taking in an estimated $23.94M from 72 territories. It opened at No. 1 in Australia with $8.2M, marking the biggest debut in the country — which had suffered some of the strictest pandemic lockdowns around the world — since December 2019. No Time to Die also added $4.4M in China ($57.94M total), $2.2M in Germany ($70.5M total), $2.05M in the U.K. and Ireland ($126.05M total).

Venom: Let There Be Carnage grossed an estimated $7.7M from 55 markets, lifting its overseas total to $238.8M and its global total to $441.5M.

Dune took in an estimated $6.8M overseas, including $1.6M in the U.K. and $1.4M in Korea. The film’s international total is now $258.1M and its global total is $351.2M. Top territories to date are China ($38M), France ($30.7M), the U.K. ($26M), Germany ($21.4M) and Russia ($21.1M). The film releases in Australia and New Zealand on December 2.

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates: November 12-14, 2021

Title Estimated weekend % change Locations Location change Average Total Weekend Distributor
Eternals $27,500,000 -61% 4,090   $6,724 $118,765,255 2 Walt Disney
Clifford the Big Red Dog $16,420,000   3,700   $4,438 $22,000,775 1 Paramount
Dune $5,500,000 -29% 3,282 -264 $1,676 $93,126,283 4 Warner Bros.
No Time to Die $4,620,862 -23% 2,867 -140 $1,612 $150,476,875 6 United Artists Releasing (MGM)
Venom: Let There be Carnage $4,000,000 -10% 2,538 -102 $1,576 $202,707,190 7 Sony Pictures
Ron’s Gone Wrong $2,200,000 -38% 2,430 -220 $905 $20,785,420 4 20th Century Studios
The French Dispatch $1,840,000 -29% 1,225 20 $1,502 $11,614,570 4 Searchlight
Belfast $1,800,000   580   $3,103 $1,800,000 1 Focus Features
Antlers $1,200,000 -39% 1,825 -975 $658 $9,638,534 3 Searchlight
Halloween Kills $1,070,000 -54% 1,994 -1,104 $537 $91,447,175 5 Universal
Last Night in Soho $830,000 -54% 1,317 -1,699 $630 $9,356,880 3 Focus Features
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings $238,000 -61% 335 -105 $710 $224,394,704 11 Walt Disney
The Last Duel $113,000 -16% 250 30 $452 $10,698,629 5 20th Century Studios
Free Guy $49,000 -34% 85 -10 $576 $121,572,292 14 20th Century Studios
Dear Evan Hansen $30,000 n/c 175 -45 $171 $14,984,540 8 Universal
Jungle Cruise $17,000 -47% 60 -15 $283 $116,974,288 16 Walt Disney
The Souvenir Part II $14,455 -65% 42 27 $344 $98,929 3 A24

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