Long Range Box Office Forecast: Marvel Studios’ Eternals

Photo Credits: Marvel Studios & Disney ("Eternals")

Marvel Studios’ third of four 2021 releases is just three weeks away, and it promises to kick off the holiday movie season in a big way. How might Eternals fare in its domestic box office run?

PROS:

  • As with every other Marvel film in this day and age, even unestablished sub-franchises can explode at the box office as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings recently proved in September.
  • Marketing is firing on all cylinders already with a consistent trailer presence in front of virtually every tentpole released in theaters throughout the pandemic recovery this year, particularly in IMAX and other PLF venues. Digital and television ad rotations have picked up heavily in recent weeks as well.
  • Social media trends and early tracking are comparable to those of Doctor Strange ahead of its November 2016 release, while not far behind Thor: Ragnarok (November 2017). Key metrics point to high interest among a variety of demographics, partly attributable to a diverse ensemble cast led by well-known names and faces such as Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani, and Brian Tyree Henry, among others.
  • The 17 to 34 age bracket is strongest (par for the course with most Marvel films), although the cast is aiding appeal to those 35 and older as well. Thanks to the relative success of No Time to Die, more of those cautious-to-return adult moviegoers could show up for Eternals whereas they might not have up to this point.
  • Pre-sales have only just begun this week, so their indicators may evolve over time. Nevertheless, the film is generating stronger upfront ticket commitments than Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Shang-Chi, and Black Widow did in their immediate start-of-sales corridors.
  • Fresh off her Oscar wins for Nomadland, Chloé Zhao’s directorial and co-written vision for this film have been heralded by President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige and anticipated by many in the film community.
  • Confirmed by Disney earlier this fall, Eternals will be exclusive to movie theaters for at least 45 days — meaning no cannibalization of box office receipts with a simultaneous streaming release — and a strong corridor throughout the holiday season. The film will also have a lock on IMAX and PLF screens for two weeks before Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens November 19.

CONS:

  • Regardless of the built-in brand selling point mentioned above, this is still effectively an “original” film in the minds of casual audiences not familiar with Marvel lore or committed to seeing every Marvel film. For that reason, the likes of Shang-Chi, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Doctor Strange likely make for stronger comparison points than the aforementioned Thor three-quel.
  • Marvel films typically appeal strongly to kids and parents, drawing roughly one-fifth of opening weekend audience from the under-18 bracket. With vaccines for those under the age of 12 still not available, cautious parents with young kids are likely to wait for this film. Similarly, cautious adults over the 30-35 age bracket still represent a fluid element in forecast modeling.
  • The tone of this film will be important to evolving forecasts in the weeks ahead. At over two-and-a-half hours long, it’s one of the longest MCU films thus far. Depending on the film’s epic scale and pacing, that could come into play with word of mouth and/or reviews.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2021 Calendar
(as of 10/15/21)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Low/High Range % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
10/22/2021 Dune $42,000,000 – $52,000,000 +4% $95,000,000 – $145,000,000 -4% 4,000 Warner Bros. Pictures
10/22/2021 The French Dispatch         50 Disney / Searchlight Pictures
10/22/2021 Ron’s Gone Wrong $7,000,000 – $12,000,000 -14% $25,000,000 – $50,000,000 -16% 3,500 Disney / 20th Century Studios
10/29/2021 Antlers $3,000,000 – $8,000,000 -21% $7,000,000 – $17,000,000 -21% 2,400 Disney / Searchlight Pictures
10/29/2021 Last Night in Soho $6,500,000 – $11,500,000 -5% $15,000,000 – $30,000,000 -6% 3,300 Focus Features
10/29/2021 My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission TBD   TBD   1,500 Funimation / Toho Co. Ltd.
11/5/2021 Eternals $82,000,000 – $102,000,000   $210,000,000 – $280,000,000     Disney / Marvel Studios
11/5/2021 Spencer           NEON / Topic Studios
11/10/2021 Clifford the Big Red Dog           Paramount Pictures
11/12/2021 Belfast           Focus Features
11/19/2021 C’mon C’mon           A24
11/19/2021 King Richard           Warner Bros. Pictures
11/19/2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife           Sony Pictures / Columbia
11/24/2021 Encanto           Walt Disney Pictures
11/24/2021 House of Gucci           MGM / United Artists Releasing
11/24/2021 National Champions           STXfilms
11/24/2021 Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City           Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures
12/3/2021 Red Rocket           A24
12/3/2021 Wolf           Focus Features
12/10/2021 Cyrano           United Artists Releasing
12/10/2021 Don’t Look Up           Netflix
12/10/2021 Violence of Action           STXfilms
12/10/2021 West Side Story (2020)           Disney / 20th Century Studios
12/17/2021 Nightmare Alley           Disney / Searchlight Pictures
12/17/2021 Spider-Man: No Way Home           Sony / Columbia / Marvel Studios
12/22/2021 A Journal for Jordan (Wide Expansion)           Sony Pictures / Columbia Pictures
12/22/2021 The King’s Man           Disney / 20th Century Studios
12/22/2021 The Matrix Resurrections           Warner Bros. Pictures
12/22/2021 Sing 2           Universal Pictures
12/25/2021 American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story           Lionsgate / Kingdom Story Company
12/31/2021 (no releases scheduled)            

Pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available exclusively to Boxoffice PRO clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.

As always, the news cycle is constantly evolving as the pandemic dictates. Projections are subject to change amid breaking announcements.

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