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Marvel's Eternals tops North American box office for second weekend

The film, which stars Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Gemma Chan, added US$27.5 million to its North American tally, a fall of 61 per cent from its debut. 

Marvel's Eternals tops North American box office for second weekend

Don Lee and Angelina Jolie in Eternals (Photo: Marvel Studios)

Disney and Marvel's Eternals took a steep drop in its second weekend in theatres, but it's still hanging on to first place ahead of newcomers like Clifford The Big Red Dog.

Eternals added US$27.5 million over the weekend, bringing its North American total to US$118.8 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday (Nov 14). The film, directed by Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao and starring Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Gemma Chan, fell 61 per cent from its debut. Though not uncommon for a big superhero tentpole, it was significantly steeper than the 52 per cent drop seen by the last Disney and Marvel offering, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

Both played exclusively in theatres, but the main difference is that Shang-Chi simply got better ratings from audiences and critics. Shang-Chi also became available to stream on Disney+ this weekend. Eternals has made US$281.4 million globally to date. 

Second place went to Clifford The Big Red Dog, which opened in theatres during the week and was also available to stream at home for Paramount+ subscribers. It made an estimated US$16.4 million from 3,700 theatres over the weekend and US$22 million across its five days in release. 

Though critics were not impressed (it has a 48 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences were more forgiving, giving it a promising A CinemaScore. And Clifford managed to do this in the face of uncertain moviegoing conditions for families.

"There's been a lot of talk about family audiences and whether or not they want to go to the movie theatre," said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore's senior media analyst. "I think this is a really solid debut. It shows there is a demand for family films on the small screen and the big screen."

Blockbusters rounded out the top five with Dune in third place with US$5.5 million, No Time To Die in fourth with US$4.6 million and Venom: Let There Be Carnage in fifth with US$4 million. Notably, Venom 2 this weekend became only the second pandemic-era film to cross the US$200 million mark at the domestic box office. The other was Shang-Chi.

More and more awards hopefuls are entering the specialty box office as well, and many are making their way into the top 10. This weekend Kenneth Branagh's semi-autobiographical film Belfast made US$1.8 million from 580 screens in its debut. In its second weekend, Spencer, featuring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, pulled in US$1.5 million from 1,265 screens. And even in its fourth weekend, Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch continues to do well, adding US$1.8 million and bringing its total to US$11.6 million. 

Outside the top 10, the Julia Child documentary Julia opened on five screens to US$20,796. 

"These films are in fewer theatres, but there is a demand for independent film which is one of the categories that everyone thought would be really hurt by the pandemic," said Dergarabedian. "We're really seeing signs of a much more normalised marketplace."

Next weekend, Ghostbusters: Afterlife faces off against the Will Smith awards hopeful King Richard.

Source: AP/sr