Marvel's 'Shang-Chi' snares $71.4 million in domestic opening, second-highest of the pandemic

Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi on Marvel's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."
Disney and Marvel Studios' "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings", which grossed $71.4 million domestically, was a big hit.

It was the film's second highest opening and it had the most viewers over Labor Day weekend.

"Black Widow," currently holds the record for the highest pandemic opening with $80million. The previous record-holder for the highest holiday weekend release was "Halloween" in 2007, which earned $26.3 million in its first three days.

Internationally, "Shang-Chi," which had already sold $56.2 million worth of tickets, brought its total global ticket sales to $127.6 millions. Notably, the film is still not approved for release in China.

Paul Dergarabedian is a senior media analyst at Comscore. "There's no doubt that Marvel's brand equity boosted 'Shang Chi's' prospects," he stated. "[And] a well-executed theatrical-first strategy served as a catalyst for excitement and increased interest among fans."

"Shang-Chi," the first Marvel movie to be exclusively shown in cinemas since the outbreak of the pandemic, is now the first. "Black Widow," released in July, was available in theaters as well as on Disney+ prime access the same day.

Many studios used a similar release strategy throughout the pandemic. They made films available on streaming services and in theaters. This strategy was used at a time when coronavirus vaccines were just becoming available in the U.S., and audiences were still wary about returning to cinemas.

However, it has been clear that dual release has resulted in cannibalization for theater ticket sales.

According to Fandango data, box office analysts predicted a strong start to the film’s theatrical run. It had the second-highest advance tickets sales of any 2021 release, right behind "Black Widow."

Disclosure: Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal (and CNBC), is Comcast. NBCUniversal owns Fandango.

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