EXCLUSIVE: Exhibition need not worry: After October’s vibrant box office, there is indeed more blockbuster business to come in November. Deadline has learned that advance ticket sales for Disney/Marvel’s Eternals, opening on Nov. 5, are already quite huge.
Insiders say advance sales for the movie from Oscar winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao, is estimated to have racked up $2.6M in its first 24 hours; an amount that’s +86% ahead of Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings ($1.4M) and +30% ahead of Black Widow ($2M) over the same period of time.
For No. 1 exhibitor AMC, Eternals reps their largest day one sales so far this year. Eternals tickets went on sale Monday.
Black Widow shaped up to be the biggest opener of the summer, now second biggest domestic opener of the year, with $80.3M after Sony/Marvel’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage with $90M. Shang-Chi is the third biggest opener of the year with $75.3M over three days of the four-day Labor Day weekend. Black Widow, which went day-and-date theatrical on Disney+ Premier, has grossed $183.6M at the domestic box office. Shang-Chi, which was released on a pure theatrical window, is the highest grossing movie at the domestic B.O. year to date with $213.8M. Shang-Chi will hit Disney+ on Nov. 12, Disney+ Day, free to subscribers.
The biggest November openings for Marvel movies are Thor: Ragnarok ($122.7M), Thor: The Dark World ($85.7M) and Doctor Strange ($85M).
Since the last trailer debut of Eternals in August, fans online have noted the diversity of the film’s ensemble cast. Fans have also taken note of the fresh tonal and visual style of the film, giving credit to Zhao.
Eternals follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again. Gemma Chan plays humankind-loving Sersi, Richard Madden is the all-powerful Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani portrays cosmic-powered Kingo, Lia McHugh is the eternally young, old-soul Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry plays intelligent inventor Phastos, Lauren Ridloff is the super-fast Makkari, Barry Keoghan is aloof loner Druig, Don Lee plays powerful Gilgamesh, with Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena.
Kevin Feige and Nate Moore are the producers, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Kevin de la Noy serving as EPs. The screen story is by Ryan Firpo & Kaz Firpo, and the screenplay is by Zhao, Patrick Burleigh and Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo.
Eternals will have its Hollywood world premiere this coming Monday.
Marvel Studios also dropped this brand new featurette online for the pic on Monday:
‘Dune’ Spices Up With $221M Global Cume In Expanded Release; ‘No Time To Die’ Tops $525M WW; ‘Venom’ Voracious – International Box Office
Refresh for latest…: There were milestones aplenty this weekend at the global and international box office with three Hollywood heavy-hitters reaching important new benchmarks. Among them, MGM/Eon/Universal’s No Time To Die crossed both $400M overseas and $500M worldwide while Sony’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage topped $350M globally. The weekend leader, however, was Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune which began offshore rollout back in September and just spiced up its worldwide cume with an additional $47.4M overseas and, along with its domestic debut, easily crossed $200M global through Sunday, as we previously noted was poised to happen. IMAX also had its biggest global October opening ever with Dune, mounding $17.8M for an unprecedented 20.3% of the worldwide weekend total.
The Denis Villeneuve-directed Dune led offshore business for the session, taking an estimated $47.4M on 49,205 screens in 75 overseas markets. This lifts the running cume to $180.6M internationally, and to $220.7M worldwide. The overall holdover drop was a terrific 38%.
In like-for-like markets and using today’s rates, Dune is tracking on par with Tenet and ahead of Godzilla Vs Kong by +7%, Black Widow by +57%, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings by +60% and Blade Runner 2049 by +81%.
The top overseas market was China where Dune is the first major Hollywood release since Disney/20th Century Studios’ Free Guy back in late August. Dune has grossed an estimated RMB 140M ($21.9M) according to local ticketing platform Maoyan, though some are seeing it a skosh higher. This will shake out tomorrow, but either way is right where we saw it coming into the weekend and surpasses the lifetimes of both Villeneuve’s Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. Dune, which is handled locally by Legendary East but is also understood to be part of a single-pot deal with WB, came in second behind local propaganda pic The Battle At Lake Changjin (RMB 205.3M/$32.2M weekend). The latter has now taken an estimated RMB 5.3B ($830M), putting it within closer reach of fellow local title Hi, Mom (RMB 5.41B) to become the biggest movie of 2021 worldwide.
After jockeying a bit, Maoyan has again shifted its projection for the full run of Dune, now expecting RMB 224.8M ($35.2M). Next weekend, the film will have competition in China from No Time To Die.
Other notable performances came in the UK where Dune grossed $7.5M from 1,331 screens and is nose-to-nose with the continued run of Bond when excluding previews. Korea, which is still led by Venom 2, gave WB its second-biggest opening weekend of the pandemic, behind Tenet, with $3.4M. Mexico had a $2M No. 1 start and Brazil kicked off with $896K. Overall, Latin America overperformed compared to expectations.
Behind Dune for the studios, Venom 2 devoured $38.3M from 17,400+ screens in 53 markets this session, taking the offshore cume to $170.6M (-56% in holdovers) and global to $352.4M. This is after last session’s astounding wider release and with 50% of the international marketplace still to come. The Tom Hardy-starrer is currently on par with No Time To Die and ahead of Shang-Chi by 84%, Black Widow by 67% and F9 by 10% at the same point in release in like-for-like markets. The film captured the No. 1 spot in 31 out of 53 markets this frame.
That includes France where the start was $5.2M (with previews), besting Shang-Chi by 49% and on par with Black Widow. Germany launched with $4.3M (including previews), ahead of Shang-Chi by 90% and Black Widow by 79%. In Russia, the symbiote has grossed $30.3M to become the No. 8 Hollywood release of all time. Mexico and Korea remain standouts with respective cumes of $19.8M and $14.2M.
Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘No Time to Die’
Nicola Dove/ MGM/Danjaq/Courtesy Everett Collection
Meanwhile, No Time To Die handily crossed the half a billion worldwide mark this weekend, grossing an estimated $525.4M through Sunday. That makes James Bond 25 only the second Hollywood title to get to the $500M milestone since 2019 (the other being Universal’s own F9). At the international box office, 007 has topped $400M with $405.6M through today in a combined 72 Universal and MGM markets. Likewise, apart from F9, NTTD is just the second studio movie to make the four-century benchmark overseas since 2019. As noted earlier this week, NTTD on Wednesday became the No. 2 Hollywood movie globally and overseas of 2021.
The fourth offshore weekend for Daniel Craig’s final turn as her majesty’s super agent was good for $33.1M in the UNI and MGM markets. The Universal portion ($28.3M in 48) repped a 37% drop from last session while MGM’s $4.8M in 24 was down 49%. Universal’s total is $326.3M, MGM’s is $79.3M. China releases next Friday and Australia is expecting Mr Bond on November 11.
The Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed installment continues to excel in Europe and Japan. Germany was the top holdover with just a 28% drop and hanging on to No. 1 despite the arrival of Venom 2. The cume there is now $56M, in line with Spectre and Skyfall at the same point of release.
The UK crossed $100M on Bond this session, seeing a 46% dip and grossing $106M through Sunday. That home market leads all play and is running in line with Spectre and Skyfall.
‘The French Dispatch’ Rocks Arthouse With Estimated $1.3M Weekend: “If Wes Builds It, They Will Come” – Specialty Box Office
Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch did what a glum arthouse market was waiting for, revved it up with a smashing three-day average. “If Wes builds it, they will come,” said an elated Searchlight Pictures after a two year wait to get the film into theaters.
It opened in 14 markets and in a total of 52 theatres. Over the 3-day weekend, the film is estimated to gross $1.3 million for per screen average of at least $25K, which marks the highest of any film opening during the pandemic — topping even the most successful commercial products over the last 18 months and easily grabbing the specialty crown. Wide releases from The Black Widow to Shang-Chi to Venom to Bond to Dune have cleaned up but the revival had not taken flight at the arthouse yet.
Searchlight Pictures’ SVP-General Sales Manager Frank Rodriguez called film “a jolt of electricity” for the specialty box office. “These figures show that after a year and a half, arthouse and independent theaters have a superhero of their own in Wes Anderson.” He said a crossover into mainstream theaters has been “doubly encouraging” for the director’s tenth picture.
In fact for much of the year the specialty biz had been eagerly pointing to this film as the one destined to revive a glum arthouse market battered by Covid. But that enthusiasm began to waver as Delta hit and the specialty box office remained persistently low with the core older arthouse demo slow to return. Worries crept in that the film –full title The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, vignettes of stories from the French outpost of a New Yorker-ish magazine — was maybe be too precious to have wide enough appeal.
Not so. And the timing may be fortuitous, Rodriquez told Deadline. “The variant thing is fading a little and the timing worked out and people just started to come out. This is the honest truth, you are having people [coming out] who have not been inside a theater for 18 months.”
The Angelika in Downtown Manhattan was the highest grossing theatre in North America this weekend as the theatre will approach the $100K mark for its 3-day estimate, followed by The Grove in Los Angeles, the BAM in Brooklyn, which is the 4th highest grossing theatre this weekend, Alamo Brooklyn, AMC Lincoln Square in New York and the Landmark West L.A.
By market, highlights included Portland where Cinema 21, among other venues across the country, demonstrates a burgeoning and latent demand for specialized releases. Canada also saw an incredible turnout, particularly in the Varsity in Toronto and the Park in Vancouver. A full 83% of the audience considered themselves fans of Wes Anderson, higher than any number seen for The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs polling.
It will expand to over 600 theatres and over 60 markets, adding more theaters weekend of November 5th.
It premiered at Cannes with U.S. premieres at Telluride and The New York Film Festival, as well as the London Film Festival. Anderson and the French cast and crew will attend a premiere in Paris tonight – and all in all the film will screen in over 25 festivals.
‘A Journal For Jordan’ Heads To Christmas; Sony Also Dates Untitled Marvel Pics
Sony will now open the Denzel Washington directed drama A Journal for Jordan on Christmas Day instead of an initial launch on Dec. 10 in NYC and LA with a wider break on Dec. 22.
In the John Burnham Schwartz and Virgil Williams screenplay adapted from the Dana Canedy article, 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King (Michael B. Jordan), before he is killed in action in Baghdad, authors a journal for his son intended to tell him how to live a decent life despite growing up without a father. Chanté Adams plays Canedy in the film.
In addition, they’ve unset the Elle and Dakota Fanning WWII feature The Nightingale from its Dec. 23, 2022 release.
The studio behind this fall’s big hit Venom: Let There Be Carnage has also RSVP’ed two spots for untitled Marvel pics: June 23, 2023 and Oct. 6, 2023. It’s possible one of these dates might be held for Venom 3, though it’s too early to pin.
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