As with last weekend, Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” made up the majority of box office business as it easily stayed at No. 1 with $35.8 million in its second frame.
And in another victory for champions of theatrical exclusivity, “Shang-Chi” now has a higher 10-day domestic total than “Black Widow” with $145 million domestic and $257.6 million worldwide. The Scarlett Johansson blockbuster, which was offered as a $30 premium Disney+ title, had $131 million and a 69% second weekend drop compared to 54% for “Shang-Chi.”
“Shang-Chi” isn’t the only way Disney is resuming its domination of the box office. In its fifth weekend in theaters, 20th Century Studios’ “Free Guy” has become the sixth film to pass the $100 million domestic mark in 2021. It is the fourth Disney release and the first original film to reach this milestone. Like “Shang-Chi,” the Ryan Reynolds comedy is theatrically exclusive and opened to just $28.3 million. But strong word of mouth has allowed it to leg out exceedingly well, grossing $5.8 million this weekend for a $101.8 million total.
The success of both these films is the reason why Disney has decided not to use the day-and-date option on any of its remaining films, announcing on Friday that it is committing to theatrical exclusivity for the remainder of the year. That includes 45-day theatrical windows for Chloe Zhao’s Marvel film “Eternals” and Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story,” along with a 30-day window for Disney Animation’s “Encanto.”
Just behind “Free Guy” is Warner Bros./New Line’s “Malignant,” which opened to $5.5 million from 3,485 screens this weekend. The James Wan horror film, which is also available on HBO Max, was well-received by critics with a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes but tepidly received by audiences with a C on CinemaScore and a 49% Rotten Tomatoes audience score.
Universal/MGM’s “Candyman” is in fourth with $4.8 million and a $48 million total after three weekends, and Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” completes the Top 5 with $2.1 million in its seventh weekend and a $109.7 million total.