‘Shang-Chi’ Overtakes ‘Black Widow’ at the Box Office

There’s no doubt about it — Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a box office success for Disney and Marvel Studios. Due to a couple of factors, the powers that be were not sure how well the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film would do in theaters. For one, the movie got released in the middle of a pandemic. Not everyone is comfortable going to theaters yet. And, secondly, Shang-Chi is a new character in the MCU. Disney had no idea if audiences would take to him. But, thankfully, fans love him and the movie.

'Shang-Chi' stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh hold microphones and speak onstage before the movie hits the box office. Liu wears a maroon suit, Awkwafina wears a black jacket with a black belt, and Yeoh wears a black sparkly skirt and a white button down shirt.
Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Michelle Yeoh | Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Disney

‘Shang-Chi’ is the highest-grossing movie of the year at the domestic box office

Per Deadline, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings became the highest-grossing movie in the pandemic box office in its fourth weekend in theaters. The film made $13.3 million the weekend of Sept. 24, bringing its domestic box office numbers to $196.5 million.

As for the other MCU film that premiered during the pandemic, Black Widow‘s running domestic box office totals are $186.7 million. Of course, Black Widow‘s income increases thanks to its Disney+ Premier Access figures. So we have to consider that when determining the most successful Marvel film of the year. But Shang-Chi‘s box office numbers are outstanding.

Despite these confusing pandemic times, Shang-Chi‘s continued dominance is impressive, to say the least. Whereas Black Widow had a following before its premiere, Shang-Chi is an entirely new story in the MCU. It’s safe to say that the character of Shang-Chi will not be going away any time soon.

‘Black Widow’ premiered simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access

Thanks to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Black Widow‘s premiere got delayed more than a year. When Disney and Marvel Studios finally decided to release Natasha Romanoff’s first solo film, they settled to do so simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access.

Those who were not comfortable going to the theater to see Black Widow could pay extra money to access it on Disney+. Disney used this model for multiple of its new films, and it saw some success. But, of course, the media giant strived to return to theater-exclusive releases.

Disney and Marvel Studios wanted to use Shang-Chi as an experiment at the box office. Could one of their films do well if it premiered only in theaters? Shang-Chi would go on to answer that question and give Disney hope for the future.

‘Shang-Chi’s’ box office numbers give Disney confidence

Kevin Feige recently made it clear that Marvel Studios would like to have theater-exclusive releases for all of their films. And, thanks to the most recent MCU movie, Disney is now confident that Marvel films can hold up in theater-exclusive releases.

Shang-Chi‘s successful box office run has given Disney and Marvel Studios hope that their future films will do well in theaters. Eternals will be released exclusively in theaters, and there’s no doubt that Spider-Man: No Way Home will only be available for theater-goers. It seems as though the days of Marvel films on Disney+ Premier Access are long gone.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is in theaters now. It is coming to Disney+ for all subscribers on Nov. 12.

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