Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Shang-Chi Holds No. 1 Spot Easily with $35.8 Million

And it's on track to (maybe) cross $200 million, something no movie has done since early 2020. Plus, see how Malignant fared in its debut weekend.

by | September 12, 2021 | Comments


(Photo by ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.)

This weekend offered yet another solid exhibit in the year-long debate over theatrical exclusives vs. day-and-date hybrids – especially when the latter is free as part of a subscription base. The big exclusive that broke a whole bunch of records last week and is primed to become the biggest film of the summer did exactly what the industry wanted it to do this week. Meanwhile, the biggest film debuting in theaters this weekend that is also available on HBO Max had one of the limpest openings of the year across many categories.

King of the Crop: Shang-Chi On Track to Be First Pandemic-Era $200 Million Film 

Disney, Marvel, and the industry in whole wanted to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gross $30 million this weekend – and it did, earning $35.8 million. And it’s been giving signs of box office robustness since it opened last week.

With a little boost thanks to Labor Day, Shang-Chi became the 102nd film to gross over $100 million in its first five days. More importantly, it was the first film to do it during the pandemic. (Black Widow took six.) That number took it out of the range of the few stragglers we referred to last week, including Black Widow, that appeared to be on solid footing towards $200 million only to fall back hard in weekend two to numbers between $22 million and $28 million. Only two films out of those 102 fell below $30 million in their second outing: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($29.46 million) and Solo: A Star Wars Story ($29.39 million). The other 100 were all over $30 million and ultimately got to $200 million.

After 10 days, that puts Shang-Chi’s total at $145.6 million. No film with $140 million in the bank in that stretch has ever failed to hit $200 million. Even 2014’s Godzilla just got over the hump with $200.67 million and it had a $30.94 million second weekend. Interestingly enough, the highest-grossing film after ten days to miss the milestone was Marvel’s Black Widow this summer, which had $131.6 million at this point and is finishing with close to $183 million. Of course, that film kept additional money from theaters through its Premier Access availability on Disney+.

Shang-Chi is now setting the lines for the forthcoming potential hits that will remain exclusive to theaters, such as No Time To Die, the Venom sequel, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Disney also took the step to assure theaters this week that they are committed to their partnership going forward with their live-action lineup – including 20th Century Studios releases – receiving a 45-day theatrical window before heading to streaming.

Rotten Returns: Malignant Has Less Than Benign Opening Weekend


(Photo by Ron Batzdorff /© Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Warner Bros. did not offer much fanfare in promoting the latest film from the director whose last film, Aquaman, grossed $1.14 billion. With few press screenings and a late-review embargo, they weren’t even able to boast about Malignant‘s solid Tomatometer score of 75%. (Perhaps they were trying to hide the bonkers twist which we would never spoil here.) Ultimately, the horror movie opened with $5.6 million. How much the film was cheated out of at the box office for being available at home will be the source of further speculation. So let’s do that.

Malignant‘s $5.6 million is lower than Wan’s 2007 follow-up to his Saw debut, Dead Silence ($7.84 million) and only slightly higher than his weakest opening, the underrated Death Sentence ($4.23 million) later that same year. Wan returned to straight horror with Insidious, which became a solid word-of-mouth success spawning three sequels, including one which he directed that opened to $40.27 million. In between, he began The Conjuring universe, with the first film in that franchise opening to $41.85 million. There was a sequel to that ($40.27 million opening) and the giants Furious 7 ($147.18 million opening) and Aquaman ($67.87 million start on its way to $335 million domestic).

This is the fifth film (out of 12 releases) this year in WB’s HBO Max day-and-date experiment to open to under $6 million. Two of those films (The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah) were released before the larger vaccine rollout. Two others (Those Who Wish Me Dead, Reminiscence) had more star power than Malignant. None of these films were as IP-friendly as the other releases that performed better, with the exception of possibly In the Heights, which opened to $11.5 million and still disappointed many with that number. Godzilla vs. Kong is still the only film released day-and-date to theaters and HBO Max to reach $100 million. We’ll see if Dune and The Matrix Resurrections can still overcome the convenience of a home option.

The Top Ten And Beyond: Free Guy Returns to No. 2 Position and Crosses $100 Million 

Free Guy

(Photo by 20th Century Studios)

Free Guy became the seventh film of the year to pass the $100 million marker this weekend, moving back up to second place with another $5.8 million. That’s the second-highest fifth weekend of the year behind only A Quiet Place Part II ($6.19 million). That also puts it slightly ahead of Jungle Cruise’s pace at the same period and that film (still in the top five) will shortly cross $110 million.

In other horror film news, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman update fell 53% in week three to $4.93 million bringing its total to $48 million. That is now lining it up to be in the orbit of The Suicide Squad’s $55 million, but likely a bit lower when all is said and done. Don’t Breathe 2, also a theatrical exclusive, managed to join the semi-exclusive $30 million club this weekend. It was just the 20th film of 2021 to achieve that, compared to 25 films opening in 1800 theaters or more not to do so. It will be interesting to see how Halloween Kills does next month now that Universal has decided to stream it simultaneously on its Peacock service.

Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter is worthy of some history this weekend grossing $1.1 million in 580 theaters. It may be of superficial significance to the legend who wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, but it’s the first directorial effort of Schrader’s to open with over a million dollars since 1987’s Light of Day with Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett started with $3.53 million. The film is also a hit with critics (86% on the Tomatometer), ranking up there with some of his highest directorial scores, including Blue Collar (98%), First Reformed (93%), Mishima (89%), Affliction (88%), Light Sleeper (88%). As stated, legend.

On The Vine: Tammy Faye and Clint Eastwood Roll Into Theaters

It’s another crowded week coming up. Though none of the films will come close to challenging Shang-Chi for the top spot, can any of them get over $10 million? There is Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, with Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield playing the notorious religious figures. Clint Eastwood directs and stars in Cry Macho – that will also be available on HBO Max. Joe Carnahan’s new thriller, Copshop, with Frank Grillo and Gerard Butler, opens up from Open Road, and Focus Features again sticks with an exclusive theatrical release of Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou.

Full List of Box Office Results: September 10-12, 2021

  • $35.8 million ($145.6 million total)

  • $5.8 million ($101.8 million total)

  • $5.6 million ($5.6 million total)

  • $4.9 million ($48.1 million total)

  • $2.5 million ($109.9 million total)

  • $2.2 million ($34.6 million total)

  • $1.2 million ($30.2 million total)

  • $1.1 million ($1.1 million total)

  • $700,000 ($700,000 total)

  • $503,000 ($23.1 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

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