Box Office: ‘Shang-Chi’ Expected to Defeat Labor Day Weekend Record With $75 Million-Plus Debut

Marvel and Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is expected to soar to the top of the domestic box office over the holiday weekend with an estimated four-day debut of $75 million to $85 million.

The superhero film took in $29.6 million on Friday from 4,300 theaters. Some industry experts are estimating the superhero film’s earnings could even reach $86 million over its first four days, with a predicted three-day gross of $70.8 million. This would put “Shang-Chi” slightly below the debut of “Black Widow,” which opened to $80 million over three days and $60 million on Disney Plus Premier Access. However, “Shang-Chi” is expected to break the record for all-time Labor Day weekend earnings, far surpassing those of 2007’s “Halloween,” which made $30.6 million over the 2007 holiday weekend.

Unlike “Black Widow,” “Shang-Chi” is premiering exclusively in theaters as opposed to the hybrid release model that has become the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the delta variant causing some regular moviegoers to skip out on this weekend’s releases, it remains to be seen whether the decision to debut “Shang-Chi” exclusively in theaters will help or hurt its chances of box office success. Films that have used the hybrid model, like “Black Widow,” have experienced sizable declines in their second week earnings, while recent exclusive releases like “Free Guy” and “Candyman” have beat box office expectations.

Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero film, “Shang-Chi” stars Simu Liu as the titular character, as he battles with the criminal syndicate run by his assassin father. Directed by Dustin Daniel Cretton, the film also stars Michelle Yeoh, Tony Leung, Benedict Wong and Awkwafina.

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