Although Bob Chapek, Disney's boss, may have been a bit cocky and discourteous (at best), when he mentioned the companys release strategy of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten RingsMarvel Studio's first Asian-led superhero filmas an interesting experiment. However, it appears to have paid off tremendously well. The movie's opening weekend has seen $71.4 million. This is not counting Labor Day tomorrow because it hasnt happened yet. It nearly doubled the low-end expectations and fell just short of the record of best box office weekend during the never-ending pandemic. Black Widow opened at $80m and then crashed to the ground, while F9 opened with $70, but remained strong for a while. Shang-Chis has made $71.4 million again, not counting the $10 million it will make tomorrow. Variety also expects that Shang-Chis will surpass the previous Labor Day weekend box office record of $30.6 million. Rob Zombies Halloween set the previous record of $30.6million in 2007.
Chapek was talking about Shang-Chi's release. Marvel and Disney released it in theaters only (pre-quar), rather than streaming on Disney+. This strategy, as noted above, resulted not only in more money coming in via Disney+ subscribers but also in less coming in from theaters. It was also the subject of a high-profile lawsuit by one of Marvel Studios' biggest stars.
Although it is too soon to know for sure, Shang-Chi may also fall off the cliff next weekend. However, it seems fair to suggest that theatrical release of movies is still a viable business model. People still prefer to see movies in theaters, especially if there is no other way. Deadline, an industry outlet, is predicting that Labor Day will become a big weekend for big movies in future. However, as always, movies will do well regardless of when they are released.