Opening Weekend Box Office Numbers For Shang-Chi Beat Expectations
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The Opening Weekend Box Office Numbers For Shang-Chi Are Here And Better Than Expected

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BY September 6, 2021

The box office has been a whirlwind since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. It seems as if only low-budget movies can manage to break even, and anything beyond double-digit worldwide earnings is a pipedream. But finally, one movie has proven that success is possible with just the right amount of hype and a good placement in an already massive franchise. The box office numbers for the opening weekend of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are here, and we’re impressed.

How Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Did At The Box Office On Opening Weekend

Opening on September 3rd, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe pulled in $71.4 million domestic over the weekend. If you factor in the Labor Day long weekend, predictions expect that number to be $83.5 million. The worldwide debut is sitting at about $140 million. With a pre-marketing budget of $150 million, that’s pretty darn good. Domestically, these numbers beat out other major summer releases, like F9 and Free GuyThe four-day total gives it the needed edge over Black Widow, but her first three days have a slight edge at $80.3 million. Internationally, the movie made just north of $146 million. That total, however, excludes China which is an important territory for MCU movies, doubly so with Shang-Chi who is meant to have a more international appeal than say Captain America.

These box office numbers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings mark a record for the long weekend. Additionally, they exceed predictions for the film’s opening. Our previous post on Shang-Chi‘s predictions claimed that only a $60 million haul would be needed to make the film a record-breaker, meaning that it’ll certainly be getting a gold star.

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Box Office Prediction Simu Liu Tony Leung Image via Marvel Studios

Would The Film Have Dominated Pre-Pandemic?

Obviously, these numbers almost seem like loose change compared to some pre-pandemic Marvel releases. The final MCU film to debut ahead of the worldwide change in the movie theater experience was Spider-Man: Far From Home, which collected a nice $92.5 million domestic in its opening weekend, with far larger numbers internationally.

There are still plenty of boundaries that keep us from a normal movie-going experience. Many people simply feel unsafe going to theaters. Some cinemas are only selling at a limited capacity. Mandatory mask-wearing keeps some from bothering. It’s impossible to say what the numbers would be if these things weren’t in place, but we can guarantee that the movie would still be the talk of the town. Among the Comic Years staff, some think that a pre-pandemic release would have rivaled Black Panther or Captain Marvel opening numbers.

shang-chi spoiler free review opening weekend box office Image via Marvel Studios.

Where Will the Box Office Go From Here?

Aside from the opening weekend, Marvel box office numbers have enormous benefits if the film has good legs. This means that people keep going after the premiere. Black Widow failed to do this and saw a steep 67% drop on its second weekend, a record for the MCU. Meanwhile, films like Black Panther were more than up for the task, with a fair domestic drop of 44.7%.

Will Shang-Chi have the legs to prevent a massive drop? For a Marvel film, the best ways to help the film include having a fantastic word of mouth and rewatchability. In terms of the former, this movie has a great chance of succeeding. The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes stands at 98%, and the film has continued to trend on social media. If people are boasting about just how great it is, they’re sure to encourage more people to go out and buy a ticket.

Franchises also succeed thanks to their superfans. We’re the folks that go every weekend to see if we missed a crucial moment or to gaze at the cinematography one more time. And if these fans can bring more friends each weekend, then they’ve unlocked the key to boosting ticket sales!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an origin story for the latest hero to enter the MCU, which means that we can expect to see the titular character again in the future. As we gear up for more films now that the trend of delaying releases has cooled off, we’re sure that fans will want to analyze every scene in the movie as a way to prepare.

Readers, did you help contribute to the opening box office numbers of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? Let us know if you’ll head back to the theater for a second watch.

Featured image via Marvel Studios.


Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.


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