‘Shang-Chi’ Passes ‘Black Widow’ as Top Film of 2021 US Box Office

MCU film takes its fourth No. 1 over “Dear Evan Hansen,” which is heading for a $7.3 million opening

Shang-Chi Imax
Photo credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has taken the No. 1 box office spot for all four weekends of September, adding an estimated $12.7 million this weekend as it passes “Black Widow” to become the top grossing film at the domestic box office this year.

The last film to earn four No. 1 weekends was “Godzilla vs. Kong” in April, though “Shang-Chi” has far exceeded that film’s $100 million domestic run with an estimated count of $194 million. Not counting the pandemic period where films like “The Croods: A New Age” could easily hold on to No. 1 with less than $10 million in a weekend, the last film to earn four No. 1s was “Black Panther” back in February 2018.

Universal’s “Dear Evan Hansen” was believed to have a shot at taking No. 1, but has fallen below projections with $3.2 million grossed from 3,364 screens on Friday and an estimated $7.3 million opening, only slightly higher than the $6.6 million opening for Universal’s infamous musical bomb “Cats.” “Dear Evan Hansen” won’t be a similar disaster as it was made on a far lower budget, but is facing weak reviews with a 32% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The one bit of good news for the Pasek & Paul musical adaptation is that it has strong audience reception with an A- on CinemaScore and a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. But that is no guarantee that the film will have legs as “In The Heights” had similar audience reception along with critical acclaim earlier this summer and still flopped at the box office, falling 72% in its second weekend. “Dear Evan Hansen” is likely to meet a similar fate with mainstream audiences as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and “No Time to Die” are set to hit theaters over the next two weekends.

In third this weekend is 20th Century’s “Free Guy” with $4 million in its seventh weekend, giving it a total of $114 million. Universal/MGM’s “Candyman” is fourth with $2.46 million in its fifth weekend and a $56.8 million total, and Warner Bros.’ “Cry Macho” is No. 5 with $2 million in its second weekend and a $8.2 million total.