Shang-Chi is King of the Box Office Hill 3 weeks in a row

(L-R): Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel fans can’t seem to get enough of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the #1 movie for the past three weeks in a row. The Marvel Studios blockbuster, starring Simu Liu as the first big-screen Asian superhero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has grossed an estimated $320 million worldwide since opening only in theaters on September 3. Shang-Chi‘s $176.9 million is expected to pass Marvel’s own Black Widow at the domestic box office.

Black Widow‘s hybrid release undoubtedly hurt the film’s box office performance, simply because there were other ways to watch it, not just the Disney+ Premier Access, but also because Black Widow became the most pirated film of the pandemic, likely in part because it was easy for people to make, and then upload, high-quality versions. It is important to note Shang-Chi is yet to make more than Black Widow when you factor in takings from Disney+ Premier Access as well.

Free Guy maintained the #2 spot for another week, in it’s 6th week. Candyman also maintained its position at #4 in its fourth week, while Malignant (also available on HBO Max) slipped from #3 to #5 in just its third week. Disney’s Jungle Cruise held on to the top ten list but slipped down the list from #5 to #7 in it’s 8th week and it’s also available on Disney+ Premier Access. This may however be the last week we see Sony’s Don’t Breathe on the top ten list, which slipped down to the #10 spot after just 6 weeks in theaters.

Three new movies hit the top ten list this week, Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye (#9), Open Road’s Copshop (#6), and Warner Bros’ Cry Macho (#3) which is also available on HBO Max.

Clint Eastwood’s western Cry Macho is not his best work. Cry Macho is directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, adapted by Nick Schenk, and is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by N. Richard Nash. The plot follows a former rodeo star (Eastwood) who is hired to reunite a young man (Eduardo Minett) in Mexico with his father (Dwight Yoakam) in the United States. The film is basically a very slow, boring, uneventful variation of Liam Neeson’s The Marksman which was released earlier this year. Clint Eastwood, the 91 year old director of Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby and American Sniper, fell short of expectations and landed in third place with a dismal $4.5 million from 3,967 screens. 

At the #6 spot, STX and Open Road’s Copshop fared even worse, bringing in an miniscule $2.3 million from 3,005 locations. Copshop is an action thriller film directed by Joe Carnahan and written by Kurt McLeod and Carnahan, based on a story by McLeod and Mark Williams. The film stars Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo, and Alexis Louder, and is set in a small-town police station that becomes the battleground between a hitman, a rookie cop, and a con artist.

Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, with Jessica Chastain in an obvious grab for a Best Actress nomination, managed to earn $675,000 in 450 theaters ($1,500 per screen). The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a biographical drama film directed by Michael Showalter and written by Abe Sylvia, and based on the 2000 documentary of the same name by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato.

The film depicts the history of controversial televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker and Jim Bakker, as portrayed by Jessica Chastain (who also produces the film) and Andrew Garfield. Cherry Jones and Vincent D’Onofrio also star. The film opened in 9th place, but has a 45-day window and will expand to around 1,000 screens this upcoming weekend.

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It’s necessary to note that Dune’s international box office is currently outpacing Shang-Chi. Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi novel of the same name opened in a number of international markets over the weekend after premiering at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month. Dune is set to release both in theaters, as well as on HBO Max in the United States on October 22, 2021.

The Top Ten

1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Disney) Week 3; Last weekend #1

$21,700,000 (-37%) in 4,070 theaters (-230); PTA (per theater average): $5,332; Cumulative: $176,894,000

2. Free Guy (Disney) Week 6; Last weekend #2

$5,200,000 (-7%) in 3,288 theaters (-377); PTA: $1,582; Cumulative: $108,576,000

3. Cry Macho (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B ; Metacritic: 59; Est. budget: $33 million; also on HBO Max

$4,515,000 in 3,967 theaters; PTA: $1,138; Cumulative: $4,515,000

4. Candyman (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #4; also on Premium VOD

$3,500,000 (-26%) in 2,820 theaters (-459); PTA: $1,241; Cumulative: $53,100,000

5. Malignant (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #3; also on Premium VOD

$2,680,000 (-51%) in 3,501 theaters (+16); PTA: $765; Cumulative: $9,804,000

6. Copshop (Open Road) NEW – Cinemascore: ; Metacritic: 61

$2,301,000 in 3,005 theaters; PTA: $769; Cumulative: $2,301,000

7. Jungle Cruise (Disney) Week 8; Last weekend #5; also on Premium VOD

$2,089,000 (-10%) in 2,265 theaters (-500); PTA: $922; Cumulative: $112,583,000

8. PAW Patrol (Paramount) Week 5; Last weekend #6; also on Paramount Plus

$1,750,000 (-24%) in 2,269 theaters (-551); PTA: $621; Cumulative: $37,143,000

9. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Searchlight) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 53; Festivals include: Toronto 2021

$675,000 in 450 theaters; PTA: $1,500; Cumulative: $675,000

10. Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) Week 6; Last weekend #7; also on Premium VOD

$665,000 (-43%) in  1,003 theaters (-705); PTA: $633; Cumulative: $31,338,000

Disney’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ruled the domestic box office again while Clint Eastwood’s Western drama Cry Macho and Gerard Butler’s R-rated action-thriller Copshop were crushed in their debuts, highlighting the disparity between the kind of movies people are willing to venture out to see during the pandemic. Shang-Chi‘s strong performance suggests that a well positioned Marvel blockbuster can still triumph in the box office, in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic.


Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.