This is traditionally one of the sleepiest weekends at the movies, but the Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is giving the box office a huge lift.
On what’s traditionally one of the sleepiest weekends at the movies, the Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings smashed the record for Labour Day openings with an estimated $71.4 million in ticket sales, giving a box office reeling from the recent coronavirus surge a huge lift heading into the fall season.
The Friday to Sunday gross for the movie, Marvel’s first film led by an Asian superhero, ranks as one of the best debuts of the pandemic, trailing only the previous Marvel film Black Widow ($80.3 million US in July). Overseas, it pulled in $56.2 million US for a global three-day haul of $127.6 million US. Disney anticipates Shang Chi, which cost about $150 million US to make, will add $12.1 million US domestically on Monday.
The Walt Disney Co. opted to release Shang-Chi only in theatres, where it will have an exclusive 45-day run. Some of the studio’s releases this year, including Black Widow, have premiered day-and-date in theatres and on Disney+ for $30 US.
The strong opening of Shang-Chi — forecasts had been closer to $50 million US — was a major relief for Hollywood, which had seen jittery releases the last few weeks during rising COVID-19 cases driven by the delta variant. Several upcoming films have recently postponed out of the fall, including Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun: Maverick, Jackass Forever and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Disney’s weekend, though, should lend confidence to upcoming big-budget releases, such as the James Bond film No Time to Die from MGM and United Artists Releasing, and Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
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