MCU’s New Direction “Isn’t Connecting” With Fans

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(L-R): Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios' ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2021 Marvel Studios. All Rights Reserved.

(L-R): Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios' ETERNALS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2021 Marvel Studios. All Rights Reserved.

For years, Marvel fans were engrossed in the Infinity Saga — the 23 film story starring the Avengers — and the characters from these stories, from Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) to Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) to the Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to, of course, Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) became household names.

avengers marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

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The Infinity Saga ended, however, with Avengers: Endgame (2019) and, while we’ve seen the return of certain fan-favorite characters — like Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) in WandaVision and Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastion Stan) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — the MCU’s Phase Four is officially moving in a new direction with the release of Marvel’s Eternals on November 5, 2021.

(L-R): Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Karun (Harish Patel), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Sprite (Lia McHugh), and Sersi (Gemma Chan) in Marvel Studios' ETERNALS. Photo by Sophie Mutevelian. © 2021 Marvel Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Eternals features both the MCU’s first sex scene and its first same-sex kiss — two things that got the film banned in certain Middle Eastern markets — and has already divided the fandom due to its departure from the family-friendly Avengers franchise.

Now — despite taking the number one spot with a $71 million box office intake on opening weekend — experts are noting that Marvel fans simply aren’t connecting to Eternals the way they have to other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

eternals cast poster
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Per one report:

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, estimates the negative reception to “Eternals” cost it a modest 10% in box office. He still sees superhero films as driving the recovery of theaters. Marvel movies account for the the top four openings of the pandemic.

“‘Eternals’ is by no means a problem,” Gross said in an email. “The film isn’t connecting the way every other Marvel film has, but the box office performance is solid and it maintains October’s level of business.”

black widows in dreykov's office
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Notably, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (July 9, 2021) opened to an $80 million domestic box office take, while Marvel’s first film about an Asian super hero, Simu Liu-led Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3, 2021) opened to a $75.4 million take.

More on Marvel’s Eternals

chloe zhao eternals set
Credit: Marvel Studios

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The Chloe Zhao-directed film is officially described as:

Marvel Studios’ Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, the Deviants.

The movie features an all-star cast including Brian Tyree Henry, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, and Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie.

Have you seen Eternals?

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