Walt Disney Co. has ownership over something Warner Bros. can only dream of – the most successful movie franchise in cinema history. The Marvel Cinematic Universe now has over 25 films and a grand total of $23 billion. Its lowest-rated movie has been 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, which still grossed $644.8 million, opposed to a $170 million budget. Well, Thor should scoot over because Eternals is now officially the worst Marvel movie ever.
Eternals premiered in Los Angeles on October 18 while still being scheduled for a theatrical release on November 5 in the US as part of Marvel’s Phase Four. Early screenings are generating reactions online. Unfortunately, as one of the movie industry’s most prominent titles, Eternals is generating some of the worst reviews ever for a Marvel movie. According to Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website for film and television, Eternals has the lowest average of recommendations for any Marvel Cinematic Universe film – only 57%, based on 148 reviews. Considering that the film hovered at 75% at one point, before taking a sharp drop down to 60%, it would seem that the number of fans and critics dissatisfied with the film continues to grow.
Of course, the greater the number of negative reviews, the lower the score of the film. Before Eternals, the prior low for an MCU film was Thor: The Dark World, which had a score of 66%. That movie proved that review scores may not effect the box office, since the Thor sequel still managed to return 290% of its budget. Sometimes the studio just cashes in on the fandom’s expectations. For example, 2018’s Venom was loved by the audience but hated by the critics, while the film returned 637% of its budget ($856 million as opposed to the $116 million budget). But its sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the eighth highest-grossing film of 2021, drew less-than-stellar commentary from the fans, despite the noticeable improvement pointed out by the critics.
According to BoxOffice Pro, a website that tracks the industry and offers earnings estimates, Eternals stand to earn anywhere between $67 million to $92 million in ticket sales for the film’s opening weekend in the US. That’s a 12% drop from the website’s prior forecast, fueled by mixed movie reviews, which are swaying social media sentiment towards the film. Still, it’s a worthwhile experience, if for no other reason than for the mid-credits and post-credits scenes that forecast the franchise’s future, or at least one of its many branches.
In the end, Marvel movies have a higher bar than most other films, considering just how epic 2018’s Infinity War and 2019’s Endgame were, so the seemingly sub-par score for the Eternals might just mean that the movie is “just okay,” and a good pastime for the weekend. Eternals is scheduled to release in theaters on November 5. When it does, the fandom will then have their chance to formulate their own conclusion based on individual experience. Who knows, maybe the rating skyrockets. It wouldn’t be the first time in cinema history that a film won the audience over post-premiere.