‘Shang-Chi’ Hits Big at the Box Office

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Courtesy of SAIATRAIPVHYANG 003 (Wikimedia CC0)

While “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” debuted with a box office of approximately $90 million over the four-day weekend, the film grossed $186.8 million after four weeks. Thus, on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, ‘Shang-Chi” became the highest-grossing film of the COVID-19 era.

The film’s revenue already exceeds the production costs of $150 million, lower than most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) movies primarily due to a $50 million tax credit from the Australian government. Only a few films cost less than “Shang-Chi,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” at $140 million, “The Incredible Hulk” at $137 million released in 2008, and the “Ant Man” films at approximately $130 million.

Historic Impact

“Shang-Chi” is the latest entry into phase 4 of the MCU and is proving so far to be a big hit for Disney. Behind “Black Widow” — which was released earlier this year — it had the best three-day opening weekend of the pandemic. This is notable as the Labor Day weekend usually is not the best time for the movie industry.

People are said to be more occupied with kids going back to school than watching a film. This time of year is even less promising due to the increasing impact of the coronavirus on the film industry. Theaters in many parts of the world, including Asia and South America, are still shut down, diminishing the possible return for Hollywood. That is why “Shang-Chi” doing well at the box office is a good sign that not all is lost for the industry, at least in the United States.


Courtesy of Gage Skidmore (Flickr CC0)

According to The Los Angeles Times, Disney confirmed that Asian moviegoers made up double their usual percentage of people who view Marvel fans. They reportedly made up 17 percent of people who went to see “Shang-Chi” this past weekend.

The movie is also getting acclaim for its Asian representation, and some are happy to see an Asian character in the lead role of a big-budget Marvel film.

However, the movie has received backlash primarily from mainland Chinese news outlets and critics. As a result, the film has not been approved for Chinese audiences yet — which is a big blow for Disney as they could be out of millions of possible revenue from the country. That is why the performance in North America is crucial as it will most likely be the primary place for the film’s success.

Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


The Hollywood Reporter: Box Office Milestone: ‘Shang-Chi’ Becomes Highest-Grossing Domestic Pic of Pandemic Era; by Pamela McClintock
Forbes: Box Office: ‘Shang-Chi’ Tops ‘Jungle Cruise’ In U.S. As ‘Free Guy’ Tops ‘Tenet’ In China
The Los Angeles Times: Disney’s ‘Shang-Chi’ breaks box office record for Labor Day weekend
Fortune: ‘Shang-Chi’ is a box office hit and a milestone for Asian representation—but fans in China may never see it

Featured and Top Image by SAIATRAIPVHYANG 003 Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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