By Stephen Ippolito | August 14th, 2021
The first box office projection for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has arrived, and it doesn’t look good for the Marvel Studios-produced film. According to BoxOffice Pro’s Shawn Robbins, the origin film is projected to earn $35M-$55M domestically during opening weekend. If these numbers hold, the opening would be the lowest for an MCU film since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk ($55.4M).
Obviously, the rise of COVID cases related to the Delta variant is the big reason the projection is so low. In his post, Robbins discussed how the Simu Liu-led film will be a test for the movie industry on what numbers could look like in the fall season.
“As Disney’s first theatrically exclusive release of a tentpole film during the late pandemic and mid-vaccine era, this will be a true stress test of where moviegoing sentiment and comfort levels are at heading into the fall season,” Robbins writes. “Recent moves to mandate vaccination passes in theaters across markets like New York City and Los Angeles could play an integral role in trends throughout the weeks ahead, potentially helping vaccinated moviegoers feel more safe to return.”
Unlike Black Widow, Shang-Chi will open exclusively in theaters when it’s released on September 3rd. On Thursday, during Disney’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek explained that due to “distribution agreements,” releasing it on Disney+ simultaneously was not an option. During its opening weekend, Black Widow brought in over $60M in Premier Access purchases.
Hopefully case rates drop in the coming weeks. I would hate to see Shang-Chi have the lowest opening weekend for an MCU film.