Nothing lasts forever — except, y’know, the Eternals themselves. And while the Eternals movie did reasonably well in theaters over its opening weekend, grossing a respectable $71 million U.S. theaters and over $160 million worldwide, the film has already garnered more negative reviews from critics and audiences than any other entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its Rotten Tomatoes score currently stands at 48 percent, the lowest rating any MCU film has ever received, breaking Marvel Studios’ streak of 25 consecutive “fresh” movies on the site. Audiences gave it a B CinemaScore, which is also a new low for the company.
It’s absolutely possible that over time, some of the 150 or so critics who gave Eternals a negative review will reassess the movie. And maybe those who already like Eternals will beat the drum for it so loudly that its reputation will begin to grow. At this point, though, Eternals looks like it will be remembered as an ambitious misfire.
It’s worth asking how that happened. Marvel’s previous 25 productions over the last 13 years were both critical successes and very popular with audiences. Few studios in history have such a consistent track record of quality. Even Marvel’s less-stellar movies are still solidly entertaining, exciting, and well-acted.
Not this time, at least according to 52 percent of critics and a hefty percentage of the paying public. So what went wrong? The list below pinpoints five major issues that, with the benefit of hindsight, were clues that Eternals was not going to end up among the most eternally beloved titles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Eternals: What Went Wrong?
An Oscar-winning director. A beloved Marvel comic. So why did the movie flop with critics and audiences?