Estimates going into Labor Day weekend for Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings optimistically put it at around $45 million domestically. The word of mouth on the film was good as were the reviews, but a little-known IP without any big named actors opening with a surging Delta variant led to many experts keeping their expectations in check. Turns out, people want to see this movie. The film pulled in $8.8 million on Thursday night preview screenings and another $17 million on Friday. Now the three-day total is going to come in around $71.4 million, just below Black Widow’s $80.3 million and just beating out F9’s $70 million making it the second best 3-day opening since the pandemic began.
With one more day in the holiday weekend, Deadline is reporting that Disney estimates the 4-day total will be $83.5 million while industry experts are saying it will be closer to $89.2 million. You can then add in the $56.2 million from international box offices and the film should had a total opening of around $140 million. Not to shabby for a little-known IP. Overall this is a record setting weekend with the film being the top grossing Labor Day weekend release of all-time.
The Walt Disney Co. opted to release “Shang-Chi” only in theaters where it will have an exclusive 45-day run. Some of the studio’s releases this year, including “Black Widow,” have premiered day-and-date in theaters and on Disney+ for $30.
The strong opening of “Shang-Chi” — forecasts had been closer to $50 million — was a major relief for Hollywood, which had seen jittery releases the last few weeks during rising COVID-19 cases driven by the delta variant. Several upcoming films have recently postponed out of the fall, including Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Jackass Forever” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog.” Disney’s weekend, though, should lend confidence to upcoming big-budget releases such as the James Bond film “No Time to Die” from MGM and United Artists Releasing, and Sony Pictures’ “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”
The success of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” came on a typically quiet weekend for Hollywood — one that would never normally feature the premiere of a new Marvel movie. The previous record over Labor Day weekend was $30.6 million for 2007’s “Halloween.”