September 7, 2021
The fiscal largess from Disney’s $90 million Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opening weekend box office continues to spread throughout the Hollywood food chain.
World’s largest exhibitor AMC Theatres Sept. 7 announced a new Labor Day admissions-revenue record, eclipsing the previous admissions record set during Labor Day weekend in 2013. In addition to the revenue record, the Labor Day weekend marks the first time since the beginning of COVID that attendance during a weekend in 2021 exceeded the same weekend in pre-pandemic 2019.
More than 2 million people watched movies at AMC’s domestic screens Sept. 2-5. More than 800,000 additional moviegoers visited AMC’s international theaters in Europe and the Middle East.
Shang-Chi opened to a reported $90 million for its domestic opening weekend Sept. 3-6. This is approximately triple the previous Labor Day opening weekend record of $30.6 million set by Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007.
“For two overarching reasons, this Labor Day weekend in the United States has been an important milestone for AMC as we steadily work to generate a recovery for our business,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. “This is the very first weekend that our attendance numbers were ahead of those of the same weekend pre-pandemic, since we closed our theaters in March of 2020.”
Aron added he was glad Disney opted for a theatrical window versus the hybrid Premier Access/box office distribution model employed for Jungle Cruise and Black Widow. Critics contend Disney undermined the Black Widow box office by concurrently releasing the Marvel movie on PVOD. The film’s star, Scarlett Johansson, is suing Disney alleging the hybrid release strategy undermined her potential financial compensation — reportedly as high as $100 million.