‘Shang-Chi’ Tops Fourth Consecutive Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel’s superhero actioner Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is projected to win its fourth consecutive North American weekend box office Sept. 26 with $13.3 million, bringing its domestic tally to $196.5 million — tops among all movies in 2021.

Shang-Chi bested Universal Pictures’ young adult release Dear Evan Hansen, which generated an underwhelming $7.3 million — well below the industry projected $10 million in ticket sales for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical.

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Previous North American box office polesitter, Marvel’s Black Widow, has generated $183 million at the domestic box office. A tally, critics contend, was undermined at launch by the movie’s concurrent availability on Disney+ for $29.99. Disney said it recorded 2 million Premier Access transactions through the movie’s opening weekend, generating $60 million in incremental revenue. PVOD sales now total a reported $125 million.

The latter tally is not sitting well with Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson, who filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Disney, alleging the movie’s Premier Access release strategy deprived her of contractual compensation from the theatrical release.

‘Shang-Chi’ Eyes Final Box Office ‘Ring’

The Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings looks set to win at its fourth consecutive domestic weekend box office appearance — a probable achievement not seen by a Marvel title since Black Panther in 2018.

The final U.S. box office weekend of September — reportedly projected to generate less than $40 million — concludes a quiet month ahead of the Oct. 1 release of Sony Pictures’ first major theatrical bow in the pandemic, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the sequel to 2018’s Venom, which generated more than $850 million at the global box. Let There Be Carnage again stars Tom Hardy as superhero Venom and his alter ego, Eddie Brock. In the film, Brock tries to reignite his career as a journalist by interviewing a vicious serial killer, Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson, who becomes the host of Carnage, the alien spawn of Venom.

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Shang-Chi’s primary new release competition through Sept. 26 is Universal Pictures’ young adult release Dear Evan Hansen — a movie adaptation of the 2016 Broadway musical of the same name that won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Actor Ben Platt reprises his Broadway role as a high school senior with social anxiety disorder who gets caught up in a fellow classmate’s suicide. Cast headliners include Julianne Moore and Amy Adams. The movie is projected to generate less than $10 million in ticket sales (Sept. 24-26) compared with Shang-Chi’s $13.8 million. The film stirred up controversy in the weeks leading up to its release for, among other things, having a 27-year-old Ben Platt portray a high schooler.

The weekend’s other theatrical newcomer is Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures’ The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain.

Theatrical returnees include the 20th Century Studios action comedy Free Guy; the Universal Pictures horror sequel Candyman; Warner Bros. Pictures’ Cry Macho, directed and starring 91-year-old Clint Eastwood; Disney’s Jungle Cruise; Paramount Pictures’ Paw Patrol: The Movie; and Open Road Film’s Copshop.

All, except Copshop, are available digitally, with Cry Macho and Malignant streaming free to HBO Max subscribers.