Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” continues to push the boundaries of the Labor Day weekend box office. After grossing $22.7 million on Sunday and pushing its three-day opening weekend total to $75.5 million — the second-highest opening of 2021 — the MCU film is now estimated to earn $90-$92 million in a four-day holiday launch.
That result would triple the previous Labor Day weekend record of $30.5 million set by “Halloween” in 2007; and with overall totals now sitting comfortably above $130 million, this Labor Day weekend could sit among the top 5 in box office history despite the presence of the Delta variant.
Marvel films have been consistently well-received by audiences and critics, but even by those high standards “Shang-Chi” is receiving remarkable acclaim. With an A on CinemaScore, 5/5 on Postrak and a 92% critics and 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this film is getting the sort of overwhelming praise that was given to hits like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame.” That bodes well for the film’s theatrical performance through September, especially since it’s the rare Disney film that’s not available a premium title on Disney+. In addition, it faces less competition since Sony has pushed “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” to October 1.
Overseas, “Shang-Chi” has grossed $56.2 million, though it has not been released in China or a COVID-stricken Southeast Asia. While the Asia-Pacific box office remains hindered by COVID-19 closures and capacity restrictions, Europe has been slowly recovering with the U.K. leading overseas markets for “Shang-Chi” with $7.7 million. With a global launch of $146.2 million, “Shang-Chi” is providing hope to theaters that Disney will consider phasing out the day-and-date premium model that it has used on films like “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise.”
In the rest of the top 5, Universal/MGM’s “Candyman” is holding well despite the tough competition with a $13 million extended weekend total and a two-weekend domestic cume of $41 million against a $25 million production budget. Disney/20th Century’s “Free Guy” is in third, rapidly approaching the $100 million domestic mark with $11.2 million in its fourth weekend and a $94.3 million total.
Paramount’s “Paw Patrol: The Movie” and Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” complete the top 5 with $5.2 million each. “Jungle Cruise,” which passed the $100 million mark last week, now has a domestic total of $106 million while “Paw Patrol” has a total of $31 million.