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The Walt Disney Company. (NYSE: DIS) took control of the US box office this weekend with the premiere of its Marvel Cinematic Universe epic “Eternals,” which reached $ 71 million in ticket sales from a release in 4 090 cinemas.

What happened: According to a Variety report, “Eternals” had the fourth best US opening weekend of the Pandemic Era, joining other Marvel-inspired titles “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” ($ 90 million), “Black Widow “($ 80.3 million) and” Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings “($ 75.3 million) as the most popular new releases of the year.

“Eternals” also grossed $ 90.7 million in international markets, giving the film a worldwide opening of $ 161.7 million. Although the film is shown in several major international markets, including the United Kingdom, France and South Korea, the Chinese government has blocked its release due to critical remarks made by its director, the Chinese-born filmmaker and Oscar winner. Chloe Zhao, on the communist government of the nation.

The only other first outing in the weekend’s top 10 was Neon’s “Spencer” with Kristen stewart like Diana, Princess of Wales – the film grossed $ 2.1 million thanks to an engagement of 996 theaters.

What else happened: “Eternals” steamed “Dune” from AT&T (NYSE: T) Warner Bros., which placed second in the weekend’s top 10 with $ 7.6 million in ticket sales. “Dune,” which is also simulcast on HBO Max, grossed a total of $ 89.3 million in US ticket sales during its three-week domestic theatrical release. “No time to die” United Artists Releasing’s 007 Adventure, ranked third at the box office with $ 6.1 million in ticket sales in its fifth week of release.

Among specialty releases, two recently released Indian films scored respectable for their limited theatrical commitments: “Sooryavanshi” grossed $ 1.3 million on 491 screens and “Annaatthe” grossed $ 940,000 in 398 theaters.

A minor mystery was the weekend’s box office return for by netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) $ 200 million action movie “Red Notice,” which aired in a limited version to 750 screens despite box office stars Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan reynolds in the main roles. Deadline reported that Netflix had not released its box office earnings when the “Red Notice” released, but estimated it could have grossed $ 1.25 million. “Red Notice” will air on the Netflix streaming service on November 12.

What happens next: November 10, ViacomCBS ‘ (NASDAQ: VIAC) Paramount Pictures is releasing “Clifford the Big Red Dog” with simultaneous theatrical and Paramount + streaming presentation. The film had been pulled from the company’s release schedule when it canceled its entire fall film list in September over concerns that the Delta variant of the coronavirus would affect movie theater attendance. This is Paramount’s first release since the animation “PAW Patrol: The Movie,” which premiered on August 20.

For the coming weekend, the major version is that of Kenneth Branagh Comcast’s “Belfast” (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Focus Features. This black and white coming-of-age drama set in Northern Ireland won the Audience Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival and was well received on the festival circuit.

Also in national version is that of Eleanor Coppola romantic offer “Love is love is love” from Blue Fox Entertainment, with a star cast including Joanne Whalley, Chris Messina, Kathy Baker, Rosanna Arquette, Cybill Shepherd and Rita wilson. Bruce willis is back on screen with the action film “Apex” by RLJE Films, while Andrew Garfield and Vanessa Hudgens star in Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “Tick … Tick … BOOM!” from Netflix.

Streaming, “Home Sweet Home Alone” on Disney + reboots the “Home Alone” franchise from the 1990s while from amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime Video presents “Mayor Pete,” a documentary on Pete Buttigieg historic 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

What else is happening: Film buffs in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar will not be able to see “Eternals” in their local theaters when the film releases in the Gulf region on November 11.

Censors in all three countries reportedly opposed the inclusion of an openly gay superhero (Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry), who shares an onscreen kiss with her husband (played by Haaz Sleiman). Homosexuality is illegal in predominantly Muslim countries in this region, and films with even the slightest hint of LGBTQ content are often banned, as was the case last year when Pixar’s “Onward” was banned from being released in Arabia. Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman due to a single line of dialogue hinting at a lesbian relationship.

However, “Eternals” is slated for release in the United Arab Emirates in its full, unedited presentation.

Photo: A scene from “Eternals”, courtesy of Disney.

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