Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings did incredibly well at the box office this weekend

On Friday, I said I hoped Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings does well at the box office. Boy did I get my wish. Marvel’s first Asian led superhero film crushed Labor Day box office records with a domestic total of $71.4M and a projected $83.5M finish. Remember that Disney decided to do an in-theater only release with a 45-day delay for streaming. This was a test to see if the model would work during our quasi-pandemic return to theaters. Yeah, Bob – looks like it’s working great. According to Comscore, it blew away predictions.

Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings smashed box office expectations over the Labor Day weekend, landing it at the top spot.

The Marvel film, which stars Simu Liu, and Awkwafina, took home a massive $71.4 million (and a four-day estimate of $83.5 million), in its theaters-only release, exceeding its first week predictions.

“[It] just absolutely obliterated that,” Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s Senior Media Analyst, told EW on Sunday.

In a non-pandemic time, Marvel films tend to open over $100 million in North America, Dergarabedian noted. But, for a film dropping in an ever-changing pandemic marketplace, Shang-Chi’s box office totals are impressive.

“This is a knock it out of the park hit,” Dergarabedian said of the film’s success in its first weekend of release, adding that globally, the film “has done extraordinarily well.”

In fact, despite the pandemic, Shang-Chi set a record for a Labor Day weekend-released films, surpassing Halloween, which has held the record since its debut in 2007. The Marvel film’s $71.4 million opening also marks it as the second highest opening for a film during the pandemic (Black Widow holds the top spot with an opening of $80M).

Worldwide, Shang-Chi took in more than $56 million, for a global total of $127 million. It’s four-day total is predicted to be $139.7M, according to Comscore.

“Clearly it is the movies themselves that people get excited about,” Dergarabedian said about what’s drawing moviegoers into theaters.

[From EW]

As we discussed, the reviews for Shang-Chi are really good. I’m thrilled it’s being received so well. I haven’t seen it yet but I’m sure it deserves all of this. We need representation and we need those films to get the same consideration their white-led counterparts receive. I know when Bob Chapek spoke about the film being “an experiment,” he was discussing a financial model. However, it was poorly thought-out phrasing because there was so much riding on this. Had Shang-Chi fallen short, we know what would have been blamed, and it wouldn’t have been the pandemic or the marketing or the recent natural disasters. And while this is Marvel-ous news, the sophomore slump is hitting everyone. Candyman, which is recognized as a fantastic film, fell 69% for its second weekend. So we’ll see how Shang-Chi fares, but its second week numbers really do have everything to do with the pandemic. Die hards are hitting opening weekend but many folks are still weary of theaters. I was on the fence about going to see Shang-Chi on the big screen, thinking I would wait for streaming. But I didn’t know there are (redacted due to minor spoilers) in the film! Now my daughter and I think we’ll go next weekend.

Speaking of things I didn’t know, CB sent me this and I can’t stop laughing. Our supreme hunk, Mr. Shang-Chi himself Simu Liu, used to model for stock photographs! According to Simu, he did one shoot in 2014 for some pocket money and now his smiling, go get ‘em team! face shows up everywhere.

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Photo credit: Instagram, Twitter and Avalon Red

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40 Responses to “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings did incredibly well at the box office this weekend”

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  1. Jo73c says:

    I’m so glad this has stormed the box office. The right wing internet trolls have been trashing it and giving bad reviews for weeks before it even opened. F-them.

    I mean, I adore Simu Liu, but if you can get Michelle Yeoh on board then I’m watching no matter what.

    • North of Boston says:

      Yeah! My second thought was “suck it, haters”

      My first thought between the BO news and reviews was “yay! It sounds good! I want to see it”

  2. Nikki* says:

    I’m so envious, because I’d LOVE to see this in a movie theater, but breakthrough infections in our area of NC are skyrocketing. Someday…..pretty please…..

  3. Sigmund says:

    So glad this is doing well. We ended up choosing to stay home and wait until it’s released digitally due to the pandemic, but I’m glad to hear this is silencing the haters.

    Also, the stock photo thing is hilarious.

  4. Snuffles says:

    I can’t wait to see this but no way in hell I’m stepping foot in a theater. I’ll wait for it to show up on Disney + and watch it on my big screen TV.

    • NewKay_ says:

      Go see it at a drive in. Amazing!

      • Snuffles says:

        Too much potential of being surrounded by a field of stupid. People will treat it as a tailgate party where I live.

    • North of Boston says:

      That’s where I’m at too!
      I’m just not feeling safe in indoor events, between Delta and the surge.
      I’m wary of theaters.

      This weekend I had to go get blood drawn for some tests. While I was there I heard the coordinator talking with a guy who was getting some blood work but also had to drop a specimen off later. He asked about the lab hours, and she explained they were closing soon but he could always bring it to the checkin desk in the ER. Then she paused and basically steered him to just wait and bring it when the lab re-opened. Because of all the sick contagious people that had been swarming into the ER lately that he might not want to come mingle with.

      (And I’m Mass, in a highly vaxxed, until recently non-surging, place)

  5. Roo says:

    It was a fantastic film and is now my favorite Marvel film!

    • Jeanne says:

      I saw it with my 2 little boys. We all agreed it was the best Marvel film. It was amazing

    • Sandii says:

      Same…. my new favourite, too. I liked the energy of the movie and the cast was fantastic.

    • The Recluse says:

      It was fun! We went, masked and all, to the first matinee on Sunday morning (less people) and really enjoyed it.
      “Welcome to the Hotel California…”

  6. Christine says:

    Saw it Saturday. Not only was it a lovely divergence from the stock plot in Avengers films, but it was clever, surprising, whimsical….and had great fight scenes! Akwafina, Tony Leung…every actor on screen was beyond good.

  7. amurph says:

    I saw it Sunday and loved it! I was really hesitant going to a theater but I chose the earliest time. There were 3 people in the entire room – me, my dad (triple vaccinated), and some random person who sat as far away from us as you can get. Masks were on the entire time.

    • LidiaJara says:

      I was nervous about the theater too! But where I live (Oakland CA) we’re 75%-80% vaccinated and I decided I wanted to see this opening weekend. We went Friday night, it was crowded but everyone kept their masks on, kids, teenagers, everyone.

      It was great! I’m not a big Marvel person, I find the CGI kind of boring? I like the funny ones or the gorgeous ones. This one was great, loved the hand to hand combat scenes. Loved Tony Leung of course. Kind of awkward for Simu Liu to have to act across from him. But I loved seeing it on a big screen and between this and Black Panther the Bay is getting hella Marvel love!

  8. Aang says:

    I might go solo to a matinee tomorrow. Kids are back in school this week and I’m guessing I might be the only one in the theater.

  9. corralee says:

    The movie was really fun but it had nothing to do with that Simu guy. Literally every single other actor/character (including the white guy with machete arm) was more interesting. I wish his sister was the actual superhero going forward, but they’ll sideline the woman for that boring guy.

  10. Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

    Reading these comments have me so grateful I got to see it in theatres. In the VIP 19+ section with fishbowl margaritas! We’ve had anti-vaccine/mask protests at the hospitals here, which is infuriating and demoralizing as I go to work, but at least they are not of a number that they kept me from seeing this awesome film. I hope that things get better for you all who are still surrounded by the stoopids.

  11. Mireille says:

    I saw it in the theater. I live in NYC, so the theatre asked to see my vaccine card and ID and mandated that everyone wear a mask. There were a good number of people in my theatre, but everyone was significantly spaced out. I also went early in the morning to make sure to avoid any crowds.

    I liked the movie, but I did think some of the humor felt forced and the plot could have been tighter, but the action sequences were great and I love all the “animals” in the film. Other than that, I truly appreciated how they used Asian casting and folklore to tell this story. There are some people who really can’t understand what it means for someone to see a superhero on screen that can come from a culture that is not white-American or European-based. For that matter, Raya and the Last Dragon was also a good attempt too to diversify storytelling. Both are great. Baby steps for the movie industry when it comes to diversity.

  12. Zut Alors says:

    Yay! So glad it got great reviews AND performed well at the box office!

  13. Becks1 says:

    I think we are going to see it this weekend. Our boys have never seen a Marvel movie in the theater and this seems like a great one to start with. Our nearest theater does not require masks (they are “recommended”) but all the employees do wear masks and when we went to see Jungle Cruise there last month, every single person was wearing a mask anyway, and you can reserve your seats (and see how crowded the theater is before you go.) I think an off time (like early Sunday afternoon) should be okay?

  14. Alarmjaguar says:

    Saw it with my kids (both vaxed) this weekend – we were lucky that the theater was pretty empty for the early show. It was great – and they wanted to go back and see it again the next day. Plus, shallow note, everyone in it is sooo easy on the eyes.

  15. AmelieOriginal says:

    This makes me so happy for Simu! I haven’t seen the movie but I’ve seen him in Kim’s Convenience which I just recently finished watching on Netflix (highly recommend, despite the fact the show doesn’t get a real resolution due to drama with the showrunners suddenly leaving without warning the cast), so I know he’s got some great acting chops. I’ll see it once it comes out on streaming, 45 days doesn’t seem long to be able to watch it.

    I saw the stock photo thing over the weekend, that whole thing is so hilarious. Reminds me how Chris Evans did a stock photo thing as a teen for a boardgame for a character named Tyler lol.

  16. Keira says:

    Doesn’t this prove ScarJo’s point re exclusive theater time?

    • JT says:

      Black Widow still made more opening weekend despite being released on Disney+ at the same time, so I would think that the Shang Chi numbers would kind of put a dent in her case. Both films would have made more without the pandemic, so I still don’t understand her argument that Premiere Access hurt her. Attendance is down overall, so as long as Disney paid her backend based on the numbers than I don’t see what the problem is.

    • Becks1 says:

      No, if anything it hurts her claim. Black Widow made more in its opening weekend, WITH the simultaneous release to streaming via Premier Access. This movie won’t be available to stream for 45 days.

      • JT says:

        And by the time it’s released on Disney+ it will be free, so Disney would be making less, because a theater run means that they have to share a cut of the profits. So again, why is Scarlett claiming she got screwed? She got her $20 million upfront, with a backend most likely because she never claimed she didn’t get any, just that it wasn’t what she was expecting. I never believed she had a case to begin with. I just think she didn’t believe the pandemic wouldn’t effect her.

      • nolabirds says:

        I don’t think it hurts her claim. I thought her contract had her making $$$ off of ticket sales but not for streaming sales. Disney didn’t think Black Widow would do well in theaters-alone so they launched with Disney+ streaming for $30 a pop and Scarlett didn’t get as much payment out of the streaming revenues. So – this underscores that Marvel films can do well if released to theaters only without also releasing to streaming at the same time, and if Marvel had done that for Black Widow then Scarlett would have made more $$$ as agreed to in her contract.

    • Becks1 says:

      @Nolabirds -no, based on the court filing from a few weeks ago she DID get part of the streaming sales, probably not as much as she would have bargained for had the same day PA been the plan all along, but something.

      The big part of her claim though is that the same day release to Premier Access depressed box office earnings and hurt her potential earnings as part of her backend deal based on certain box office thresholds. On its face this seems like a reasonable assumption (even if Disney did not violate her contract, it still seems like the movie would have made more had it not been released on PA at the same time.)

      But here, we have a Marvel movie that was NOT released via same day streaming, and while it did very well, it still did less than Black Widow. Disney can (and most likely will) use the box office earnings of this movie to say “box office earnings are down overall because of a global pandemic, releasing the movie without PA access would not have made a significant difference, and by giving Scarlett access to ‘some’ of the PA money we are still complying with the contract.”

  17. FalchamBoden says:

    Just saw it yesterday in the theater (you can only watch if you are vaxed or got tested).
    I absolutely LOVED it!!!

  18. Case says:

    I’m glad it’s doing so well and is getting glowing reviews. Can’t wait to see it when it’s released to streaming.

  19. NA says:

    I saw it on the weekend and absolutely loved it! It’s definitely already one of my top two Marvel movies. And, Tony Leung, what can I say? It definitely reignited my, shall we say fervour, for Tony. I spent the rest of the weekend rewatching old movies of his. Definitely a must see, and I for the most part think Marvel movies are meh.

  20. embrat says:

    I took my son to see this Saturday. We couldn’t go Friday cause most every seat was sold and I wanted to social distance. Sin lives all things marvel but really, really loved this movie. I liked it too, we’ll watch it again when it streams.

  21. nolabirds says:

    Went to the theater yesterday to see it – we evacuated Louisiana because of Hurricane Ida and landed at the Jersey shore. Labor Day/yesterday was a gorgeous beach day so we decided to go to the theater midday for the first time since the pandemic to watch. Our strategy paid off, the beach town theater was basically empty!

    The movie was so good. It was beautiful to watch – the choreography of the fight scenes was so graceful.

  22. Macheath says:

    Literally just got back from watching this. I was super excited to watch the film since it was announced – particularly with all the rave reviews but honestly I’m on the fence. I’m keeping open minded because I hated Captain Marvel after my first watch, but it has totally grown on me and has strong repeat watchability.

    The pros: great representation, nobody came across stereotypically and the supporting characters were particularly good. Tony Leung was amazing, his emoting was fantastic and I really enjoyed his scenes, but I’ve loved him for years. Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Fala Chen and Meng’er Zhang were all amazing. Awkwafina carried the first third of the movie. Yay ladies!

    The cons: final third was both good and oddly flat at times. I won’t say more as it will spoil but it had a bad habit of building good tension and then fizzling out a couple of times. Unfortunately Simu Liu was the weakest actor. I found him quite jarring at times, poor emoting and he just constantly looked confused. He did not come across as the lead and honestly his sister was more convincing and competent.

    The world building and lore was super interesting and I wanted to know more but it was also just thrown at you at times without trying to link it with the other huge MCU events ie the Blip. If you haven’t watched some of the Marvel limited tv shows like Loki, some concepts can confuse you more. Luckily I did watch them all as I am an MCU fanatic.

    I’ll wait for it to get to Disney Plus to rewatch and see if I change my mind. For now, for me it’s a fun and enjoyable watch but not the best Marvel film – that’s still Infinity War!

  23. yoo says:

    I’ve tried but sorry, no. Simu Liu is not attractive. And that becomes even more painfully obvious when he’s around hotties like Tony Leung or Meng’er Zhang. He has leading man charisma, which is great, but he’s not a hunk. Some people forgive an average face if it comes attached to some nice abs, I guess.

    The film was really good, though! Easily Top 3 MCU.

  24. Normades says:

    So glad this movie did well but how many times do Asians have to “prove” themselves?

    BTS is the biggest BAND in the world, Crazy Rich Asians did crazy numbers, All the Boys I loved before is the most loved Netflix romcom…etc, etc…

    But every time it’s an experiment or surprise 🤬

  25. Sarah says:

    I saw it in the theaters, movie was really great, wouldn’t count it as being in my top 5 Marvel movies but it was a great film. I think Simu worked with the story line that was given to him; it was an origin yet not his origin story more-so his father’s origin story but also kind of his origin story (LOL). Also, Marvel had work to do with fixing it’s f**k ups from the comic book origin story and the wreck that was The Mandarin in Iron Man 3 (folks were expecting a different Mandarin) so not only did you have to explain the story of the 10 rings but then work Simu’s character story line into that.

    Once this hit Disney +, I am watching it again; the visuals are stunning and Michelle Yeoh…..there are no words. I love her!!!

    Also, if they do not give Meng’er Zhang a show on Disney + I’m going to be irritated because I want to see what she does with her enterprise but I don’t want it in movie format, I want them to go into depth.