The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest hero is leading the fight for theaters, as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings battles its way to an impressive $71 million over 3 days, smashing both Labor Day records and expectations in its opening weekend. The Marvel movie managed to dethrone Rob Zombie’s Halloween which has held the Labor Day weekend record for 14 years. Shang-Chi has so far grossed $83.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $56.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $139.7 million, with several markets, including the United Kingdom, having their largest opening days since the start of the ongoing circumstances.
This will no doubt come as a huge relief to Disney and Marvel Studios, as well as theaters both nationwide and globally. Box office numbers have been touch-and-go throughout the current situation, and while there have been some promising releases such as Godzilla vs. Kong and Shang-Chi’s fellow Avenger Black Widow, figures have never come close to reaching those of pre-pandemic times. Thus, the takings accrued so far by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are not only good news for the movie itself, but speak to the wider issue of theatrical releases versus streaming. Such success could even see studios back away from the somewhat controversial digital releases that have emerged during the current global situation.
While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was expected to receive a simultaneous digital and theatrical release similarly to Black Widow, to movie was instead given an exclusive theatrical release, something which was described by Disney CEO Bob Chapek as an “experiment.”
“We think it’s actually going to be an interesting experiment for us, because it only has a 45-day window for us.” Chapek explained, “because of the practically of last-minute changes it wouldn’t be possible” to give Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings the same kind of release as Black Widow received. Chapek”s comments were not met well by Shang-Chi star Simu Liu, who hit back saying, “We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise. I’m fired the f**k up to make history on September 3rd; JOIN US.” Thankfully, the so-called experiment looks to have paid off.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a screenplay he wrote with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings chronicles the story of Shang-Chi, a skilled martial artist who was trained at a young age to be an assassin by his father Wenwu. After leaving the nefarious Ten Rings organization and opting to live a normal life in San Francisco, Shang-Chi is soon drawn back into the clandestine world of the Ten Rings and is forced to confront the past he thought he had left behind.
Starring Simu Liu as Shang-Chi alongside Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will introduce a newly undiscovered world of martial arts and magic into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was released on September 3, as part of Phase Four of the MCU, and has received positive reviews from critics. This comes to us courtesy of Deadline.