After two banner weekends at the box office, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is looking to easily three-peat atop the domestic market.
The Marvel Studios hit from Disney has so far recorded several important benchmarks, including the all-time Labor Day weekend record ($75.4 million three-day) and the third highest opening and sophomore frame ($23.2 million) in industry history — behind only the two It films ($60.1 million and $39.6 million, respectively). Shang-Chi also scored the best second weekend of any film released during the pandemic, topping Black Widow‘s $25.9 million.
Such momentum should carry on as strong word of mouth propels the crowd-pleasing superhero film. Its premium screen footprint will remain largely in tact again this weekend. Not only should a pandemic-best third frame be on deck (a mark held by A Quiet Place Part II‘s $12 million back in June), Shang-Chi has a strong chance to surpass It: Chapter Two‘s $17 million for the second highest third weekend gross by any film in September history. The first It posted $29.8 million on weekend three in 2017.
As Marvel comps go, Black Widow slid 55 percent in its third frame, Black Panther eased 41 percent, and Guardians of the Galaxy dipped just 40 percent. With a dearth of competition entering the market, Shang-Chi may approach or best the latter two of those comparisons as the film continues its goal of running the board until Venom: Let There Be Carnage arrives on October 1.
On the new release front, things are again looking quiet during this mostly abandoned corridor on the early fall schedule before things ramp up again in October. Warner Bros., fresh off the hybrid box office misfire of Malignant last weekend, is pushing Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho in wide release and for free to HBO Max streaming subscribers this Friday.
Eastwood films have seen peaks and valleys at the box office in recent years, but Macho unfortunately is trending very conservative compared to the likes of 2018’s The Mule. That pic scored $17.5 million in its December opening frame, legging out to $103.8 million domestically and nearly $175 million globally. The iconic filmmaker and actor’s latest is instead trending more along the lines of Richard Jewell, which bowed to $4.7 million domestically in December 2019.
In addition to the repeated cannibalization of a film being available at home the same day it’s in theaters, Cry Macho‘s target audience will likely lean toward older males. That audience was a staple of driving films like Let Him Go and The Marksman throughout the early months of theatrical re-openings during the pandemic, but it remains a demographic more cautious to return to theaters than younger patrons right now due to Delta variant and unvaccinated concerns. Furthermore, those aforementioned comps weren’t available to stream for free.
Meanwhile, critics have so far scored Cry Macho at an underwhelming clip of 53 percent.
Meanwhile, Open Road will also return to the fray with Copshop this weekend. Gerard Butler’s audience could turn out, but this is otherwise another low-profile, male-driven release that is tracking more in line with the likes of The Protégé and Reminiscence than the star’s more successful action films in years past. Social media impressions are lukewarm at this stage before release, but early critics’ reviews lean positive at 76 percent.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Third Weekend Range: $20 – 26 million
Opening Weekend Range: $1 – 4 million
Domestic Total Range: $2.5 – $10 million
Opening Weekend Range: $1 – 5 million
Domestic Total Range: $2 – $15 million
Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will decrease between 20 and 30 percent from last weekend’s $58.5 million top ten aggregate.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, September 19||Location Count||% Change from Last Wknd|
|Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings||Disney / Marvel Studios||$23,000,000||$177,800,000||4,070||-34%|
|Free Guy||20th Century Studios||$4,500,000||$107,700,000||3,288||-19%|
|Cry Macho||Warner Bros. Pictures||$2,800,000||$2,800,000||~3,900||NEW|
|Malignant||Warner Bros. Pictures||$2,500,000||$9,500,000||~3,485||-54%|
|Copshop||Open Road Films||$2,400,000||$2,400,000||3,005||NEW|
|Jungle Cruise||Walt Disney Studios||$1,900,000||$112,400,000||2,265||-18%|
|PAW Patrol: The Movie||Paramount Pictures||$1,800,000||$37,200,000||2,269||-22%|
|Don’t Breathe 2||Sony Pictures / Columbia||$700,000||$31,400,000||1,003||-39%|
|The Card Counter||Focus Features||$500,000||$2,000,000||584||-52%|
All forecasts subject to revision before the first confirmation of Thursday previews or Friday estimates from studios or alternative sources.
Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studios.