The new Marvel film Eternals has enjoyed a strong start at the box office in the UK and Ireland, grossing £5.46 million across its opening weekend.
Producers said the superhero blockbuster, which introduces a new generation of characters to the franchise, had secured a 42% market share since screenings began on Friday November 5.
Eternals, directed by Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao, follows a group of 10 immortal beings sent to Earth to fight an invasion.
— Eternals (@TheEternals) November 7, 2021
It follows the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and stars Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Kit Harington among its cast.
However, the film has been met with a lukewarm response from critics, some of whom have suggested Nomadland director Zhao failed to make her mark on the big-budget franchise.
Jolie recently praised Disney, which owns Marvel, for refusing to edit the film after censors in some Gulf nations reportedly took exception to the inclusion of an LGBT character, banning the feature.
Eternals features the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first gay superhero in Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, and he shares a kiss with his on-screen husband, Ben, portrayed by Haaz Sleiman.
The latest Bond film No Time To Die, another of the year’s highly anticipated blockbusters, grossed more than £25 million over its opening weekend in the UK and Ireland.