‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Makes $8.8 Million in Thursday Box Office Numbers

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically hurt the movie theater industry. That’s why Disney+ added most of Disney’s new releases to its Premier Access platform. They wanted to cater to those who wanted to avoid theaters. But, for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel Studios decided to limit the new Marvel Cinematic Universe film to premiere only in movie theaters.

Thankfully, that decision didn’t seem to hurt the film, as it made $8.8 million in the box office for Thursday, Sept. 2. 

Simu Liu attends the 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' premiere in Toronto.
Simu Liu | Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images for Disney

A strong Thursday outing for Marvel’s new film

According to Variety, the Thursday night preview box office numbers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are the second-highest ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The highest number comes from the release of Marvel’s previous film, Black Widow, on July 8th. It made $13.2 million on that day. But, arguably, Black Widow was more highly anticipated by audiences because of Marvel’s constant delay of its premiere. And because Natasha Romanoff was an established character in the MCU, whereas Shang-Chi is a brand new hero.

Despite this information, the box office numbers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are impressive. Shang-Chi did better than multiple other notable films, such as F9 and A Quiet Place Part II. F9 opened to $7.1 million, and A Quiet Place Part II opened to $4.8 million.

Will ‘Shang-Chi’s’ overall box office numbers hurt in the long run because it isn’t getting the Disney+ Premier Access treatment?

While Black Widow, Cruella, Jungle Cruise, and more premiered on Disney+ Premier Access and in movie theaters, Shang-Chi will only be in theaters for its first couple of months. Then, it will be available on Disney+ for all subscribers. A date has not been announced for its addition to Disney+, though.

Only time will tell if the decision to do a theater-only release with Shang-Chi will hurt or benefit its box office numbers. But, if we factor in the film’s $8.8 million outing on Thursday, it does not seem likely that it will be a flop.

Marvel appears to have confidence that this film will do well, but almost everything film studios do is experimentation during these COVID-19 times.

How does ‘Shang-Chi’ factor into the MCU?

There has been a lot of buzz about Shang-Chi because of its Asian representation and the good reviews from critics. So, what is the film actually about?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings revolve around the Marvel Comics character, Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi, played by Simu Liu, must confront his father and past in the film, including the dangerous Ten Rings organization. Fans’ ears might perk up at the mention of the Ten Rings because they have been mentioned before in previous MCU films. Specifically, Iron Man has dealt with them on occasion. Also, Marvel confirmed that Shang-Chi’s father is the Mandarin, who was a prominent character in Iron Man 3. Although, a different actor played him.

Many fans are excited to see this film because the MCU finally has an Asian-led movie. But, also, the history of Shang-Chi in the comics is quite interesting. This film has the possibility to push the MCU in a new, exciting direction while also staying true to its roots.

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