Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is blasting past even the most optimistic expectations, earning a $71 million 3-day/$83.5 million 4-day opening weekend from 4,300 screens.
That 3-day total is second only to the $80 million opening for “Black Widow” on the list of highest post-shutdown domestic opening weekend totals and just tops the $70 million opening for “F9” earlier this summer. The 4-day total is also nearly triple the previous record for the highest Labor Day opening weekend record of $30.5 million set by “Halloween” in 2007.
Overseas, “Shang-Chi” added $56.2 million and opened No. 1 in all markets, though it has yet to open in China and a pandemic-stricken Southeast Asia. The U.K. led all overseas markets with $7.7 million followed by Korea — which is still grappling with high COVID-19 cases and theater closures — with $6.5 million. Including domestic Labor Day estimates, the film is set for a global opening of $139.7 million, including a Labor Day record $13.2 million from IMAX screens.
“Shang-Chi” is accounting for approximately two-thirds of box office revenue this weekend, with industry estimates currently predicting overall revenue for the 4-day period to finish at $136 million. That would rank this pandemic-era weekend in the Top 5 highest performing Labor Day weekends, showing the potential for movie theaters to return to pre-pandemic levels when the right movie is released.
This weekend also continues a red-hot streak for Disney, having seen “Jungle Cruise” reach the $100 million mark last week despite its premium availability on Disney+, while the theatrically exclusive “Free Guy” is approaching the same milestone. With an A on CinemaScore and critics/audience Rotten Tomatoes scores of 92%/98%, all the pieces are in place for strong legs for “Shang-Chi,” which is the MCU’s first film with a predominantly Asian cast. A strong run would be a boost for theaters that are hoping for a phase-out of the day-and-date release strategy Disney and some other studios have used to hedge their bets as the pandemic has persisted.
In second this weekend is Universal/MGM’s “Candyman” with a $10.5 million 3-day/$13.4 million 4-day total. It’s a solid 52% drop from its $22 million opening despite competition from “Shang-Chi,” giving the horror film a two-weekend total of $41.9 million.
“Free Guy” is in third with $8.7 million 3-day/$11.2 million 4-day total and $94.1 million grossed domestically after four weekends. It is set to become the first post-shutdown release not based on a previously existing IP to gross $100 million in North America. Paramount’s “Paw Patrol: The Movie” is in fourth with $3.8 million 3-day/$5.2 million 4-day and a total of $31.5 million after three weekends. “Jungle Cruise” completes the top 5 with $4 million 3-day/$5.2 million 4-day, giving it a domestic total of $106 million.