WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Three-Peats at No. 1 w/ $21.7M; Dune Enjoys Strong Start Overseas

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Another quiet September weekend, another win for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

With little in the way of new competition, the Disney/Marvel blockbuster easily finished atop the box office for a third weekend in a row, bringing in an estimated $21.7M in its third frame. That counts as the largest third weekend among pandemic-era releases – handily beating out A Quiet Place Part II’s $12M back in June – and the second-largest third weekend of all time in September, surpassing It: Chapter Two’s $17M from 2019 (the first It still holds the record with a $29.8M third weekend in 2017). With $176.89M domestically, it’s now the second-highest-grossing film since the start of the pandemic in North America, second only to Marvel stablemate Black Widow ($183.38), which it should easily surpass by next weekend.

Shang-Chi’s positive word-of-mouth is an undeniable factor in its strong second- and third-weekend holds, as is the film’s premium screen count, which remained largely intact this weekend given the dearth of new blockbuster competition. Speaking of which, the weekend’s two wide-release newcomers — Warner Bros.’ Cry Macho and Open Road’s Copshop — failed to garner much of a theatrical audience in their opening frames.

In fact, the second-place finisher this weekend was long-running holdover Free Guy, which eased just 7% to an estimated $5.2M in its sixth weekend of release. The total for the Ryan Reynolds action-comedy now stands at $108.6M.

Cry Macho, the latest big-screen vehicle for 91-year-old Clint Eastwood, debuted third place with a mild $4.52M from 3,967 locations, partly owing to Warner Bros.’ decision to debut the film day-and-date on HBO Max. The title’s underwhelming 52% critical average on Rotten Tomatoes was also a factor in the disappointing opening, which came just a tick below the actor-writer-director’s previous effort, 2019’s Richard Jewell. That film opened to $4.7M and topped out with just $22.35M domestically, albeit with an exclusive theatrical release. Cry Macho performed particularly well in the West and South, the studio reports.

Universal’s Candyman – which had its VOD debut this weekend – finished in fourth place with an estimated $3.5M in its fourth frame for a total of $53.1M to date.

After opening with a disappointing $5.43M last weekend, Warner Bros.’ Malignant dropped 51% to an estimated $2.68M to fifth place in its sophomore frame. That brings the total for the James Wan horror film, which debuted day-and-date on HBO Max, to $9.8M after 10 days of release.

The weekend’s other wide release, Gerard Butler action movie Copshop, took in an estimated $2.31M from 3,005 screens, good for sixth place. The Joe Carnahan-directed film received an exclusive theatrical release and even garnered decent reviews, but it clearly didn’t connect with its intended (male) audience, who currently have a multitude of options at the multiplex, including Shang-Chi, Free Guy, and Cry Macho.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise took seventh place in its eighth weekend of release with $2.09M (a drop of just 10% from last weekend), bringing its total to a healthy $112.58M. In eighth, Paw Patrol: The Movie took in an estimated $1.75M in its fifth weekend of release for a total of $37.14M.

Debuting in ninth place was Searchlight Pictures’ The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which opened to a soft $675k in 450 theaters. That’s a rather weak start for the Oscar-tipped film, which stars Jessica Chastain in the title role. Reviews for the biopic were mainly positive, though perhaps not good enough to break through with arthouse-leaning audiences. It expands to over 1,000 theaters next weekend.

Don’t Breathe 2 rounded out the top 10 with an estimated $665k in its fifth weekend, bringing the total for the horror sequel to $31.34M.

OVERSEAS

Warner Bros.’ Dune had a strong start in 24 overseas markets this weekend, including $7.6M in Russia, $7.5M in France, $4.9M in Germany, $2.2M in Italy, and $2M in Spain. The film did particularly strong business on IMAX screens, where it took in an estimated $3.6M from just 142 locations, giving it a sizzling $25k per-screen average (in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, the studio reports that the film topped $80k per-screen in the IMAX format). IMAX is something of a marketing hook for the Dennis Villenueve-directed tentpole, which was filmed for the format with over an hour of IMAX-exclusive expanded aspect ratio. The sci-fi adaptation opens in North American on Oct. 22.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings grossed an estimated $20.3M overseas from 43 territories. It remained the No. 1 film in several of them, including Australia (down just 18% weekend-over-weekend), Brazil (down 35%), Mexico (down 14%), and the U.K. (down 35%). The highest-performing international markets to date include the U.K. ($21.8M total), Korea ($12.6M), and France ($9.2M). Shang-Chi‘s overseas tally is $143.7M while its global total has risen to $320.6M. It is now the fourth highest-grossing film worldwide since the start of the pandemic.

Free Guy took in an estimated $8.4M in 48 territories, including China, where its now now stands at an excellent $85.6M. The film’s international total is $189.7M while its worldwide total is $298.3M.

Paw Patrol: The Movie grossed an estimated $5.6M from 55 markets, including 7 new openings in territories such as Australia, Sweden and Finland. The Paramount title’s international total now stands at $66.1M and its global tally is $103.24M.


Title Estimated weekend % change Locations Location change Average Total Weekend Distributor
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings $21,700,000 -37% 4,070 -230 $5,332 $176,893,555 3 Walt Disney
Free Guy $5,200,000 -7% 3,288 -377 $1,582 $108,576,030 6 20th Century Studios
Cry Macho $4,515,000   3,967   $1,138 $4,515,000 1 Warner Bros.
Candyman $3,500,000 -26% 2,820 -459 $1,241 $53,168,490 4 Universal
Malignant $2,680,000 -51% 3,501 16 $765 $9,803,527 2 Warner Bros.
CopShop $2,310,000   3,005   $769 $2,310,000 1 Open Road
Jungle Cruise $2,089,000 -10% 2,265 -500 $922 $112,583,336 8 Walt Disney
PAW Patrol: The Movie $1,750,000 -24% 2,820 n/c $621 $37,143,497 5 Paramount
The Eyes of Tammy Faye $675,000   450   $1,500 $675,000 1 Searchlight Pictures
Don’t Breathe 2 $665,000 -43% 1,003 -705 $663 $31,338,128 6 Sony Pictures
The Card Counter $440,000 -58% 584 4 $753 $1,914,390 2 Focus Features
Show Me the Father $365,000 -48% 1,073 n/c $340 $1,375,123 2 Sony Pictures
Blue Bayou $315,000   477   $660 $315,000 1 Focus Features
Black Widow $181,000 -36% 325 -185 $557 $183,382,994 11 Walt Disney
Old $160,000 -35% 474 -109 $338 $47,970,590 9 Universal
The Night House $78,000 -57% 210 -300 $371 $6,912,522 5 Searchlight Pictures
The Boss Baby: Family Business $50,000 -30% 396 -87 $126 $57,171,500 12 Universal
The Protégé $44,000 -65% 153 -241 $288 $7,410,315 5 Lionsgate
F9 $41,000 29% 305 -33 $134 $172,974,845 13 Universal
A Rescue of Little Eggs $36,600 -36% 71 -44 $515 $886,312 4 Lionsgate
The Forever Purge $35,000 2% 175 -7 $200 $44,540,015 12 Universal
The Nowhere Inn $20,000   46   $435 $20,000 1 IFC Films

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