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

Shang-Chi

(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

Malignant

(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

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