Box Office: Shang-Chi Delivers Fists of Fury with a $94 Million Opening Weekend.
The Box office has been... interesting as of late. We are facing variables that we've never really encountered before, and that makes comparing box office numbers a task. Some films are releasing to theaters with same-day VOD options, some are releasing to streaming services for free (I'm betting Warner Bro's is regretting that commitment right about now), and now we're testing theater-only releases, with a commitment to push to streaming or VOD platforms after 45 days.
The question here, is will audiences travel to a theater during the height of a pandemic to watch a movie? More importantly, will they travel to the theater during the height of a pandemic to watch a film with an ethnic cast and no A-list acting talent? The answer is yes.
Shang-Chi was projected to make $45 million over the holiday weekend. While the industry tried to put a positive spin on this number and how it would break records for the holiday weekend, it was also clear that the film would need to perform better than this to prevent studios from feeling the need to push their blockbusters. Thankfully, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings put this number to shame, hauling in an impressive $94 million over its four-day opening weekend.
Now, we can create arguments and theories about what this means, how it was outperformed by Black Widow for the three-day weekend, but caught back up on the fourth day, etc... But what we really need to look at to determine success, is how the film compared to projections... Shang-Chi doubled expectations! That is a huge win - especially when considering all of the various factors and circumstances that may prevent people from seeing the film.
Positive word of mouth definitely played a part in the film's success, and I suspect this trend will continue throughout the week and into the second weekend, potentially even the third. And these weeks will honestly be the real key to the film's success. If Shang-Chi can maintain strong holds for the next two weeks, then I have no doubt that it will surpass Black Widow as the number one box office for the year.
What do you think? Will Shang-Chi be the box office darling of 2021, or will it fall short of another film?