‘Shang-Chi’ smashes box office records over Labor Day weekend

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Disney’s “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” smashed Labor Day box office records, generating $71.4 million in ticket sales for the holiday weekend.

The movie was the first Marvel film to be released exclusively in theaters since the pandemic began. It’ll run exclusively in theaters for 45 days before hitting streaming services.

“Shang-Chi,” the first Marvel flick with an Asian superhero as the lead, is already getting rave reviews, drawing the second highest box office haul — behind ‘Black Widow’ — for a movie release during the pandemic.

‘Black Widow’ was released in July simultaneously in theaters and on Disney + for $30, which sparked a lawsuit by its star, Scarlett Johansson, who claimed Disney curbed demand for theater tickets by releasing the film online at the same time.

Because her compensation was largely tied to ticket sales Johannsson says she lost money on the release and claims Disney breached her contract by not showing ‘Black Widow’ exclusively in theaters first. The star may be out $50 million, according to some reports. ‘Black Widow’ brought in $80 million on its release weekend.

Simu Liu attends the Toronto Premiere of 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' at Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Canada on September 01, 2021.Simu Liu attends the Toronto Premiere of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ at Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Canada on September 1, 2021.
Getty Images for Disney

Simu Liu, as Shang-Chi in Disney’s 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’.Disney’s “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” has garnered raving reviews.
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Evere

Simu Liu, as Shang-Chi in Disney’s 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’.Disney’s “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” has not been approved for screening in China.
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Evere

At the time, The National Association of Theatre Owners, a group that reps movie theaters, called the film’s performance “disappointing and anomalous,” and said it “demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release” is more profitable.

Hollywood was heartened to see the enthusiasm by theatergoers for ‘”hang-Li,’” which surpassed estimates. Experts had predicted that it would bring in $50 million.

“’Shang-Chi’ is the ultimate confidence-builder for the theatrical movie industry,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore said according to MarketWatch. It’s “a real testament of the power of a theatrical-first strategy to drive huge numbers of moviegoers to the multiplex.”

Simu Liu and Jayden Zhang pose at the Toronto Premiere of 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' on September 1, 2021.Simu Liu and Jayden Zhang pose at the Toronto Premiere of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ on September 1, 2021.
Getty Images for Disney

Simu Liu, as Shang-Chi in Disney’s 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’.“Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” is noted for being Marvel’s first flick with an Asian superhero as the lead.
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Evere

Simu Liu, as Shang-Chi in Disney’s 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’.“Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” is a box office hit, raking in $71.4 million in ticket sales during Labor Day weekend.
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Evere

Several major movie releases have been delayed, including “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Jackass Forever” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” because of the rise of the rising number of Delta variant cases.

‘Shang-Chi’ has yet to be approved for release in China, according to reports.

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