We are a couple of weeks away from Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. While multiple members of our team have seen it (and LOVED it), that doesn’t hide from the fact that the box office isn’t 100% back. Projections for Shang-Chi has the movie making anywhere from $30M-$55M in its opening weekend. Those numbers may seem low for a Marvel movie, sadly, those would be solid numbers in the pandemic era and while studios continue to shuffle films, Sony just moved Venom: Let There Be Carnage to 2022 and Morbius any day now, all eyes are on Marvel Studios.
According to Vulture, their sources have hinted that there is a chance Eternals could move off its November release date if Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings underperforms at the box office. Among studio sources reached by Vulture, the short-term outlook is that autumn’s big films (such as Dune and Top Gun: Maverick) will most likely stay on their scheduled release dates — although Marvel Studio’s Eternals could be delayed if the 24th MCU entry Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings underperforms at the box office upon its September 3 release.
What does underperform mean?
Who knows what “underperforms” means in these pandemic times. If we are talking about a Black Widow situation, then that’s a little different. Black Widow was released in theaters and simultaneously on Disney+ with Premier Access. The Scarlett Johansson-led film has grossed $370M at the worldwide box office, as well as an additional $130M from Disney+, bringing that to a grand total gross of over $500M.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be the first film in the MCU to be released exclusively in theaters since Spider-Man: Far From Home. Is $500M the bar here? Universal Studios’ F9 has grossed nearly $700M worldwide and I believe theaters are in a better place than when F9 launched in June. $700M would be fantastic numbers for Shang-Chi putting it on par with past MCU films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also, review and reactions for Shang-Chi have been through the roof, the buzz and hype surrounding this movie has been a huge thing for social media over the week.
Yes, the Delta variant is putting a damper on things for sure. That said, theaters here in the states have yet to re-shut down or put capacity limits on screenings. One thing is for sure, see this movie in a theater if it is safe and comfortable for you to do so. Follow the proper health and safety protocols provided by the theater, and be smart, wash/sanitize your hands, wear a mask if told to do so (especially if you’re not vaccinated), and be courteous to other trying to stay safe.
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) is drawn into the clandestine Ten Rings organization, and is forced to confront the past he thought he left behind.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) and film also stars Awkwafina (Raya and the Last Dragon) as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, with Michelle Yeoh (Gunpowder Milkshake) as Ying Nan, and Tony Leung (Infernal Affairs) as Xu Wenwu, Shang-Chi’s father; as well as newcomer Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen (The Undoing), Florian Munteanu (Creed II), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War), Yuen Wah (Kung Fu Hustle), Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians), Zach Cherry (You), and Dallas Liu (Tekken).
Additionally, Tim Roth reprises his role as the Abomination from The Incredible Hulk (2008), along with Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3 (2013) and the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King (2014). Also appearing is Andy Le as Death Dealer, one of Wenwu’s assassins and Jade Xu as a Black Widow from Black Widow (2021).
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings opens in theaters on September 3, 2021. Eternals is scheduled for November 5, 2021.