Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is on its way to a record-breaking $90 million Labor Day weekend. The MCU’s first Asian-led superhero film registered the second-best three-day haul of the pandemic ($71.4 million), behind Black Widow ($80.3 million).
While the industry estimates Shang-Chi will finish with $89.2 million in its four-day opening, parent studio Disney is projecting a more conservative $83.5 million. Unlike Black Widow, which was released simultaneously in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service (to much controversy), Disney decided to give Shang-Chi a theater-only release for 45 days, admittedly to test the waters.
Destin Daniel Cretton delivers some of the best set pieces in the MCU, but his central hero doesn’t make much of an impact. Overall, the moviegoing market appears to be making strong strides on the road to recovery after the industry-altering last few months. The 2021 Labor Day weekend ($135.2 million) is projected to be 12% ahead of the 2019 Labor Day weekend ($120.7 million).
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Director Nia DaCosta’s Candyman claimed the number two spot at the box office, raking in an estimated $13.4 million across four days in its second weekend, pushing its domestic total to $41.2 million. DaCosta is currently in production on another MCU project, The Marvels, a sequel to Captain Marvel that’ll also feature Miss Marvel.
The number three spot went to Disney’s Fox title Free Guy, which, like Shang-Chi, was also given a theater-only release. Directed by Shawn Levy, the film is estimated to have made $11.1 million across four days, taking its domestic total to $94.3 million. A sequel has been ordered.