Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Shang-Chi Breaks Labor Day Record With Epic $90 Million Four-Day Haul

The newest MCU origin movie kicked life into the box office with the biggest overall Labor Day ever. Plus: Candyman and Free Guy hold strong on the weekend of September 3-6, 2021.

by | September 6, 2021 | Comments

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

The numbers look good for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which pulled in a record-breaking $90 million across the four-day weekend. They look even better for theaters and the industry. The only people  probably looking at the numbers with some grief are the folks at Paramount, which recently pushed both Jackass Forever and Top Gun: Maverick off this year’s schedule into 2022. That could still turn out to be a good idea and ultimately be looked back upon as just a slight delay for some bigger grosses, assuming the pandemic numbers head in the right direction again. But as the box office numbers have been showing for the past month now, people are still going to the movies – especially when there are no streaming options. But even more important for the industry is the extrapolation of these numbers, which are starting to feel more like pre-2020 instead of 2021. And not to bury the lede, but the box office just had its biggest Labor Day weekend ever. Not bad.


King of the Crop: Shang-Chi Breaks Multiple Records, But Can It Be the first 2021 Movie to Hit $200 Million?

Only four other times in history has the four-day Labor Day holiday grossed over $100 million, led by the likes of Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Possession (two of those movies did not even debut in that weekend). The films in this Labor Day weekend’s top 10 grossed over $131 million, besting the $114 million over the 2007 holiday which was led by Zombie’s Halloween.

Last week when we measured the success of Candyman, it was the Thursday-preview numbers that served as our guide. This week, we note that Shang-Chi had the second-best preview numbers during the pandemic, with $8.8 million. That is more than F9’s $7.1 million and less than Black Widow’s $13.2 million, which we should remember was made before the film hit Premier Access on Disney+ on Friday. Shang-Chi had no Premier Access on Friday, nor Saturday, Sunday, Monday, nor going forward.

The seven past live-action PG-13 films which have grossed between $8.3 million and $9.3 million in Thursday previews include 2014’s Godzilla, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. They averaged a three-day opening weekend of $82.5 million, with the second Fantastic Beasts film posting the weakest eventual three-day haul with $62.1 million. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings posted an estimate of $75.5 million over just the three days. That may be slightly below the average of those other films, which all had more recognizable name brands than Shang-Chi, but it is also the biggest Labor Day opening ever, the second-best opening of the pandemic, and the third-best September weekend ever behind both of the It films.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

Those are also the only films to ever open in September and gross over $200 million. That is a number the box office has yet to crack since Bad Boys for Life did it before shutdown in 2020. Black Widow opened to $80 million and could not do it – but it was also available for a price at home. F9 opened to $70 million and came up shy of $175 million, despite being a theatrical exclusive. Only five films have ever grossed $90 million or more in their first five days and failed to gross $200 million: Fifty Shades of Grey, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Simpsons Movie, and The Day After Tomorrow are four of them; the fifth is this summer’s Black Widow (i.e. pandemic + home availability = some will avoid the risk).

Shang-Chi has very little competition over the next few weeks before Venom: Let There Be Carnage releases in its new just-announced date – Sony was clearly encouraged by this weekend’s numbers – and No Time To Die comes out. Add Monday’s holiday to the total and Shang-Chi is estimated to have a gross around $90 million over the four days, very much in line with the pre-pandemic average based on its Thursday numbers. What a difference a day makes! If we can begin to measure some metrics by films just being a day or so off their pre-2019 theatrical exclusive wavelengths, we may be making some progress. Especially if we can all just stay safe out there.


The Top Ten And Beyond: Candyman Holds Strong As Free GuSets Sights on Passing Jungle Cruise

Free Guy

(Photo by 20th Century Studios)

Shang-Chi could not deliver the best Labor Day weekend ever all by itself. The continuing success of Free Guy can not be overlooked as it made another $8.9 million over the weekend and $11.4 million total over the holiday, bringing its total to $94.5 million in 25 days. That is over half a million more than what Jungle Cruise had in 26 days ($93.97 million). Cruise, which has been available on Disney+’s Premier Access, still has a strong presence in the top 5 in its sixth weekend of release and has driven its theatrical total to $106.7 million. Free Guy, without any streaming options until the end of the month, is now likely to surpass Jungle’s numbers and possibly get as high as $120 million. Free Guy’s three-day weekend also ranks 16th all-time amongst fourth weekends for August releases – higher than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Straight Outta Compton, Rush Hour 3, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. It has made $239 million worldwide to date. Jungle Cruise is at $189 million.

Candyman contributed even more money to the pot this weekend, making $10.4 million for a 53% drop from last weekend – better than The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’s 57% fall from a $24.1 million start and Old’s 59.3% fall from $16.8 million. With an increase to $13.3 million through the holiday, Candyman’s $41.7 million in 11 days is less than a million behind the pace of HBO Max’s The Suicide Squad, which made $42.6 million in 10 days. Remember that James Gunn’s day-and-date streaming film fell 71.5% down to $7.4 million in its second weekend. Candyman is now poised to surpass that film’s total and settle in with around $55 million-$60 million.

Paw Patrol: The Movie, which Paramount sacrificed into theaters so Clifford the Big Red Dog could live on someday, grossed $4.1 million this weekend and an estimated $5.3 million over the holiday. No family film released in the second half of August has ever grossed $57 million, let alone one streaming at the same time. Paw Patrol finds itself with $30.5 million after 17 days, which is better than The Angry Birds Movie 2 was doing in the same period in 2019 with a $3.94 million third weekend and $29.79 million. It went on to gross $41.66 million. Expect Paw Patrol to end up in that vicinity – lower than most family films gone hybrid this year, but potentially still higher than Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2, which was exclusive to theaters.


On The Vine: James Wan’s Original Horror Film, Malignant, a Venice Favorite, and More

James Wan’s Malignant may be the closest thing to challenge Shang-Chi’s number 1 slot (but that is still further away than Jim Carrey’s shot at Lauren Holly in Dumb and Dumber). The horror film will also be streaming on HBO Max starting Friday. In more exclusive news, STXFilms is putting the Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste crime comedy, Queenpins, into select Cinemark theaters, just their second during the pandemic after this February’s The Mauritanian. Then Focus will be releasing Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, which debuted to great critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival this past week. It currently stands at 97% on the Tomatometer.


Full List of Box Office Results: September 3-6, 2021


  • $75.5 million (3-day) / $90 million (4-day) ($83.5 million total)

  • $10.2 million (3-day) / $12.8 million (4-day) ($41.3 million total)

  • $8.7 million (3-day) / $11.2 million (4-day) ($94.3 million total)

  • $4 million (3-day) / $5.21 million (4-day) ($31.5 million total)

  • $4 million (3-day) / $5.2 million (4-day) ($106.9 million total)

  • $2.2 million (3-day) / $2.7 million (4-day) ($28.5 million total)

  • $1.23 million (3-day) / $1.57 million (4-day) ($22.2 million total)

  • $912,000 (3-day) / $1.13 million (4-day) ($54.6 million total)

  • $712,000 (3-day) / $893,000 (4-day) ($182.6 million total)

  • $530,000 (3-day) / $674,000 (4-day) ($6.4 million total)


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

monster movies Musical TV Land versus docudrama Avengers Toys emmy awards Holidays VICE Awards chucky Western Film Festival comic festivals History football Film Nominations BBC One Nat Geo Biopics singing competition ABC Signature animated teaser Kids & Family TV One razzies olympics suspense 45 hispanic critics franchise stoner strong female leads Calendar Television Critics Association Baby Yoda renewed TV shows Teen Super Bowl 24 frames Schedule series harry potter comic books 2015 joker Nickelodeon Song of Ice and Fire NBA elevated horror Video Games New York Comic Con Spike cancelled TV series President archives psycho latino Mudbound Pride Month TCA Awards HBO rotten movies we love The Walking Dead Hallmark Christmas movies 2019 Hear Us Out werewolf jurassic park rt archives heist movie Holiday royal family true crime 90s Tumblr independent spanish romance USA Extras police drama Ellie Kemper Television Academy screenings RT21 sitcom Ovation Box Office revenge rom-coms black Turner Classic Movies YouTube Premium Comic-Con@Home 2021 political drama directors justice league Starz crime IFC a nightmare on elm street fast and furious Ghostbusters space breaking bad 72 Emmy Awards Trivia adenture gangster FX on Hulu 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards french obituary ABC DirecTV Certified Fresh japan Election rt labs critics edition finale based on movie cats doctor who Pirates Superheroes mission: impossible SDCC indie ABC Family GIFs new york Sony Pictures marvel comics CBS All Access Tubi Musicals historical drama RT History Hallmark child's play Comic Book king kong romantic comedy Sneak Peek screen actors guild TNT Rom-Com Captain marvel vampires Sundance comics A24 ghosts natural history Peacock movie composers Heroines Fantasy Legendary talk show Fall TV SXSW popular Comics on TV Apple kong tv talk BBC satire hispanic heritage month stop motion Universal Red Carpet Tarantino Marathons YA HBO Max asian-american Photos Columbia Pictures Spring TV 2021 comic book movies cancelled canceled dexter high school Chernobyl American Society of Cinematographers australia Year in Review TruTV cooking criterion aapi Star Trek OneApp ViacomCBS Sundance TV reboot mcc Awards Tour rotten spinoff cults Adult Swim Amazon Prime hist dceu Rocky Apple TV+ slasher TV The Arrangement DC Universe Country biopic BAFTA action-comedy television dogs binge quibi Reality Competition Premiere Dates period drama reviews Music NBC king arthur disaster PaleyFest comiccon debate Turner cars canceled TV shows cartoon Fox Searchlight mutant DC Comics cops twilight foreign war spain Lionsgate Elton John Amazon theme song hollywood parents Britbox game of thrones crime thriller 2016 Disney streaming service Apple TV Plus trailers Pacific Islander Shondaland legend GLAAD Anna Paquin green book psychological thriller Oscars universal monsters Action ratings MSNBC dramedy Summer nfl CW Seed Women's History Month Classic Film FX VOD telelvision Endgame best scorecard Writers Guild of America basketball rt labs spider-man Infographic MTV Spectrum Originals japanese thriller Character Guide richard e. Grant Discovery Channel 71st Emmy Awards Netflix Emmy Nominations scene in color nbcuniversal WarnerMedia 2018 christmas movies Black History Month Lifetime Christmas movies Countdown Marvel Television children's TV zero dark thirty all-time Trailer Epix Sundance Now classics Crunchyroll pirates of the caribbean book adaptation adaptation biography jamie lee curtis Quiz See It Skip It kids Pop TV documentary aliens zombie Broadway BET documentaries marvel cinematic universe Academy Awards 2017 worst movies science fiction Exclusive Video Horror die hard Emmys PBS blockbusters Cartoon Network TCA Winter 2020 Showtime Vudu italian nature spanish language free movies superman TLC saw prank Black Mirror game show TIFF Lifetime LGBT golden globe awards National Geographic slashers fresh superhero Grammys Mindy Kaling Logo OWN james bond mockumentary Fox News Bravo A&E sports award winner cinemax Interview 93rd Oscars The CW blaxploitation Comedy Central Binge Guide CBS docuseries Comedy The Witch X-Men comic book movie boxoffice ITV Paramount USA Network DGA women toy story Cannes 2020 Brie Larson blockbuster 007 The Academy First Reviews Trophy Talk Best and Worst Disney+ Disney Plus international posters halloween tv transformers video streaming movies golden globes LGBTQ Rock 20th Century Fox supernatural YouTube Red APB Star Wars critic resources Rocketman young adult wonder woman Wes Anderson venice unscripted crime drama live action Disney stand-up comedy Marvel Studios godzilla Christmas E! Travel Channel Sci-Fi dc video on demand Walt Disney Pictures GoT Warner Bros. WGN Opinion Marvel BBC America Stephen King YouTube crossover Mary Tyler Moore spy thriller Netflix Christmas movies Image Comics Syfy Hulu 1990s politics name the review Family kaiju target ID book ESPN Polls and Games Podcast robots remakes Tokyo Olympics TCA Mary poppins indiana jones SundanceTV Freeform FXX facebook Esquire Crackle E3 technology Chilling Adventures of Sabrina social media Paramount Plus news know your critic casting Alien Shudder VH1 travel Amazon Prime Video Tomatazos Amazon Studios PlayStation Reality 99% Paramount Network Pixar streaming Funimation IFC Films cancelled television serial killer BET Awards TV movies boxing hidden camera The Walt Disney Company halloween festival diversity laika Dark Horse Comics witnail sag awards dragons movies FOX DC streaming service Superheroe discovery Disney Channel 21st Century Fox AMC San Diego Comic-Con Pet Sematary Mystery HBO Go First Look Pop batman Valentine's Day deadpool sequels Lucasfilm Food Network CMT Arrowverse Cosplay comedies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled TV shows scary movies toronto El Rey Masterpiece anthology CNN Mary Poppins Returns Disney Plus Thanksgiving Martial Arts Winners medical drama 73rd Emmy Awards new zealand NYCC MCU TBS Winter TV concert worst lord of the rings dark zombies Animation what to watch adventure TV renewals feel good south america Watching Series miniseries films Drama new star wars movies The Purge 4/20 Acorn TV TCM Creative Arts Emmys anime TCA 2017 Set visit sequel