Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” collected an estimated $71.4 million at the domestic box office this weekend.
It was the second-highest opening for any movie released during the pandemic and the highest of any movie released over the Labor Day weekend.
“Black Widow” currently holds the title for highest opening during the pandemic at $80 million and the previous record holder for highest release over the holiday weekend was 2007’s “Halloween”, which hit $80 million in theaters domestically during its first three days. 26.3 million in.
Internationally, “Shang-Chi” earned an additional $56.2 million in ticket sales, bringing the estimated worldwide total for Friday, Saturday and Sunday to $127.6 million. Notably, the film has yet to be approved for release in China.
“There’s no doubt that Marvel’s massive brand equity has boosted ‘Shang-Chi’ prospects,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “[And] a perfectly executed theatrical-first strategy served to spark interest and excitement among fans.”
“Shang-Chi” is the first Marvel film to be shown exclusively in theaters since the start of the pandemic. “Black Widow,” which was released in July, debuted in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access the same day.
Many studios followed a similar release plan during the pandemic, opting to make movies available in theaters and on streaming services. This strategy was applied at a time when the coronavirus vaccine was just becoming available in the US and the public was still wary of returning to movie theaters.
It has become clear that the double release has led to cannibalization of theater ticket sales.
Box office analysts predicted a solid start to the film’s theatrical run as it had the second highest ticket sales of all 2021 releases, just behind “Black Widow,” according to data from Fandango.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Fandango.