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

Star Wars Film Festival summer TV preview spider-verse MCU jurassic park razzies TCA Winter 2020 new york Spike Emmy Nominations 2021 Sneak Peek talk show football renewed TV shows Esquire Musicals indiana jones Elton John joker robots 20th Century Fox scorecard CW Seed Universal Podcast marvel comics TBS comic teaser DC Universe hidden camera reviews sequels A&E green book USA Network crossover Fantasy comics superhero Song of Ice and Fire cinemax french Grammys video on demand women miniseries disaster Hear Us Out Polls and Games hollywood movie nfl Country Photos political drama Television Academy 21st Century Fox PBS Bravo sopranos Marvel Emmys archives comic book movie The Academy vs. TV One Exclusive Video art house Arrowverse Christmas slashers YouTube ABC Signature dreamworks Tokyo Olympics Nominations Peacock Fall TV canceled black comedy trophy stand-up comedy quibi high school streamig Winter TV Apple halloween documentary rotten movies we love Television Critics Association mutant X-Men cancelled TV series emmy awards Film scene in color Captain marvel stoner Sony Pictures australia Sci-Fi ESPN streaming diversity rotten transformers Adult Swim blockbusters 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards what to watch Sundance ratings young adult game show dogs Awards sports fresh Creative Arts Emmys war documentaries monster movies HFPA TIFF screenings Reality Competition animated 2020 2019 latino crime social media Marvel Television DGA AMC slasher Crackle universal monsters twilight facebook dceu Awards Tour Music crime thriller Academy Awards GIFs National Geographic toronto Wes Anderson godzilla YA zombies Amazon Studios comiccon true crime 93rd Oscars Warner Bros. NBA USA The Arrangement stop motion strong female leads Disney Pop posters breaking bad period drama Cannes Dark Horse Comics cats Turner Classic Movies SundanceTV Countdown Spectrum Originals Freeform Drama sequel YouTube Premium japan Disney+ Disney Plus Biopics Best Picture SXSW Comics on TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt deadpool Fox Searchlight ITV Endgame President heist movie Discovery Channel vampires Legendary worst movies Vudu independent Amazon dexter TCM franchise revenge Mystery Winners festivals royal family Infographic FOX History Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Lucasfilm genre Comic Book kaiju technology The Purge rt archives 1990s fast and furious Holidays Box Office thriller batman Oscars science fiction biopic Syfy TNT summer TV Kids & Family cancelled scary cops Summer Hallmark aapi supernatural Ghostbusters serial killer Rocketman HBO Go TV movies critics ghosts tv talk Cartoon Network Fox News Comedy Acorn TV Apple TV+ spinoff feel good remakes Marathons Mary poppins TV Land Spring TV Lionsgate asian-american Mary Poppins Returns Masterpiece GoT DirecTV First Look black indie satire RT History spider-man mcc cartoon canceled TV shows RT21 theme song concert halloween tv nature festival Stephen King sag awards Travel Channel Horror nbcuniversal directors romance Sundance Now South by Southwest Film Festival Tags: Comedy BBC One trailers Trophy Talk harry potter Quiz 90s ViacomCBS Sundance TV The CW Red Carpet VICE spy thriller debate composers Pacific Islander Pride Month Amazon Prime jamie lee curtis rt labs critics edition crime drama Lifetime First Reviews 2017 DC streaming service based on movie broadcast discovery Hollywood Foreign Press Association blockbuster Britbox 24 frames Rock Schedule Comedy Central spanish language children's TV 79th Golden Globes Awards blaxploitation king arthur BAFTA Women's History Month kong popular dc Funimation OneApp police drama Rom-Com obi wan anime Opinion live action mockumentary game of thrones Superheroes travel politics Trailer Pet Sematary ABC Family TV basketball Watching Series Apple TV Plus leaderboard TCA Awards worst Super Bowl parents dragons adaptation Hulu Epix telelvision NYCC Premiere Dates golden globes Neflix news A24 new star wars movies legend comic book movies BBC obituary Action LGBT AMC Plus Mindy Kaling Binge Guide Best and Worst cancelled television Musical scary movies Walt Disney Pictures dark NBC The Walking Dead international Avengers historical drama CBS All Access E! book adaptation Tomatazos PlayStation justice league 4/20 PaleyFest Cosplay VH1 CNN romantic comedy Interview IFC 45 FXX Best Director pirates of the caribbean book Universal Pictures south america TLC OWN Netflix Christmas movies Focus Features olympics Tarantino TV renewals Marvel Studios HBO live event MGM Family Black History Month action-comedy MSNBC Tumblr Ovation zero dark thirty mission: impossible comedies Brie Larson 71st Emmy Awards know your critic Mudbound Paramount doctor who richard e. Grant screen actors guild Martial Arts Amazon Prime Video Reality television Comic-Con@Home 2021 aliens chucky Best Actor critic resources hist CMT MTV 94th Oscars films Fargo foreign target superman Video Games FX on Hulu prank Broadway Set visit APB binge venice See It Skip It 2016 marvel cinematic universe Holiday sitcom Animation saw Turner YouTube Red zombie SXSW 2022 series New York Comic Con Extras Chernobyl psychological thriller Mary Tyler Moore Disney streaming service a nightmare on elm street Showtime Nickelodeon LGBTQ criterion versus Logo unscripted italian Shudder American Society of Cinematographers award winner Lifetime Christmas movies mob BBC America Prime Video best child's play SDCC boxoffice Star Trek BET 99% ID adventure biography IFC Films 2018 video james bond reboot docudrama psycho Classic Film space elevated horror WarnerMedia movies 007 Western 2015 Teen Shondaland Oscar WGN Starz Calendar spanish toy story TCA 2017 Heroines Image Comics spain all-time die hard summer preview CBS Hallmark Christmas movies anthology finale medical drama Netflix cars Pixar witnail hispanic heritage month christmas movies name the review FX dramedy TCA The Witch Nat Geo new zealand Baby Yoda The Walt Disney Company Paramount Network Instagram Live singing competition cancelled TV shows Valentine's Day Pop TV cooking suspense DC Comics Character Guide docuseries ABC cults Trivia Ellie Kemper kids Election rt labs Certified Fresh gangster werewolf japanese HBO Max Disney Channel Columbia Pictures Tubi Disney Plus Rocky Writers Guild of America Black Mirror El Rey golden globe awards 72 Emmy Awards Best Actress streaming movies natural history Food Network BET Awards TruTV classics E3 GLAAD Crunchyroll Superheroe Toys lord of the rings adenture casting Pirates Anna Paquin IMDb TV boxing wonder woman Paramount Pictures laika rom-coms free movies 73rd Emmy Awards comic books San Diego Comic-Con king kong Alien Year in Review Paramount Plus hispanic Thanksgiving VOD