It was another big win for Disney at the box office this weekend, as the Mouse House proves it is still the box office champion even during a pandemic. However, the number 1 streak will likely come to an end with next week’s Venom: Let there be Carnage being released by Sony.
For the fourth week in a row Disney’s Marvel Studios hit Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings sits at number one for the weekend. The film brought in $13.3 million, increasing its total domestic earnings to $196.5 million. The film surpassed Disney’s earlier release, Black Widow, to become the year’s highest grossing domestic film.
The film is expected to earn around $225-235 million domestically by the time it gets released to Disney+ on November 12th. This is a strong showing for an origin film of a little known Marvel character, especially amidst a pandemic.
Overseas the film has earned $166 million, a solid number, but less impressive than one would expect from a film pushing $200 million domestically. The two biggest factors for the more anemic worldwide totals are: 1. China, and 2. Covid.
China has the world’s largest box office potential and it is not allowing Shang-Chi to be released in their country. No official reason has been given, but some statements critical of China’s government, made by the film’s star Simu Liu a few years back, is likely the reason. While it is unclear exactly how well the film could have done in China, estimates range from an additional $80 million up to $180 million. Even on the lower end, Liu’s statements have come with a hefty price tag.
The second reason why the international box office is a bit suppressed is covid. While the United States appears to be rounding yet another curve and things are starting to improve with increased vaccinations, other countries are not so lucky. Major markets throughout Asia and non-European countries are either completely shut down or significantly diminished. These include: Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.
While these international markets are hurting the film’s worldwide total, the domestic total is impressive and has surpassed most industry forecasts. The next few weeks will show us how the film compete’s with some serious competition from the likes of Venom, Halloween Kills, and Dune.
Next on the docket for Disney and Marvel Studios is the November release of Eternals.