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Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings is making a heroic showing at the box office, where it has smashed the record for Labor Day openings with a four-day haul of $90 million and has posted the second-biggest three-day debut of the pandemic year so far, behind fellow Marvel Studios pic Black Widow.
Shang-Chi, from filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton brought in a domestic three-day total of $75.5 million from 4,300 locations. Shang-Chi‘s global haul is an estimated $127.6 million. The PG-13 movie, which earned positive reviews and a glowing A Cinemascore, stars Simu Liu as Marvel’s newest hero and is the studio’s first to center on an Asian lead. Its three-day haul is the second-biggest domestic opening of the year, behind Black Widow, which debuted to $80.3 million over three days in July, and ahead of Universal’s F9, which brought in $70 million in late June. As far as September releases, only Universal’s It (2017) and It: Chapter Two (2019) topped Shang-Chi‘s domestic opening.
Shang-Chi is also on track for $90 million for the four-day frame, breaking the Labor Day weekend record previously held by the 2007 Halloween, which earned $30.6 over four days. Shang-Chi also set a global Labor Day record for IMAX, with the film bringing in an estimated $13.2 million. Males made up 61 percent of the domestic audience for Shang-Chi.
Shang-Chi is a win for the theatrical experience at a time in which the delta variant continues to hamper attendance and day-and-date releases on streaming services have roiled the exhibition business. Unlike previous Marvel release Black Widow, which premiered day-and-date in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access, Shang-Chi will have an exclusive 45-day theatrical release. To date, Black Widow has earned $371.3 million at the global box office and sparked a lawsuit from star Scarlett Johansson, who argued the move hurt the box office in favor of feeding Disney’s streaming service.
Simultaneous releases and Shang-Chi were hot topics at CinemaCon last week, as Disney CEO Bob Chapek has indicated the film will inform the studio’s release strategy going forward. While introducing a screening of Shang-Chi, Rolando Rodriguez, chairman of the National Association of Theatre Owners, urged theater owners to do what they could to help it perform.
“Call it an ask from your chairman of NATO. This is important to all of us,” said Rodriguez. “It’s going to be a great showing from us, to our fantastic friends at the Walt Disney Company … to show them the importance of theatrical exhibition.”
In addition to Liu, Shang-Chi stars Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Tony Leung, Fala Chen and Michelle Yeoh.
Box office holdovers include Universal’s Candyman, which came in at No. 2 with an estimated $13.4 million for the four-day frame. Its domestic cume-to-date is $40.4 million.
Other Disney-released titles still hanging on at the domestic box office include Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy, which came in at number No. 3 with $11.2 million for the four-day frame to bring its domestic total to $94.3 million, and Jungle Cruise, which added an estimated $5.2 million over four days, for a domestic haul of $106.9 million through the long weekend. Meanwhile, Paramount’s Paw Patrol: The Movie tied Jungle Cruise to bring in $5.2 million for the four-day weekend and an estimated global haul of $31.5 through Monday.
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