Today brings the release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and if the projections turn out to be right on the money, it’s set to be a mixed bag of box office results for the franchise’s milestone 25th installment.
The martial arts fantasy epic is still tracking for an MCU-low opening of between $45-55 million, but that would be more than enough to dislodge Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake and become the highest-grossing movie ever to open during the Labor Day weekend. There was talk that Shang-Chi could have ended up being given a Premier Access debut to offset any potential theatrical losses, but after Black Widow yielded a lawsuit, it was probably too late in the day to make a change.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek described Shang-Chi‘s theatrical exclusivity as “an interesting experiment for us”, and leading man Simu Liu didn’t take too kindly to that phrasing, issuing a passionate response on social media that came across as a thinly-veiled shots in the boss’ direction. In a new interview, the actor revealed that he never faced any sort of internal pushback from the studio from his comments.
“If it’s true that I wouldn’t have had a career if it weren’t for these conversations about diversity, the importance of representation, then I need to continue to fight that battle for the people that come after me. All around me, I saw people who were taught by their parents, as I was, to just toe the line, not ruffle the feathers, not rock the boat too much and just put your head down, do your work and that’s it. And I think that as a community, we’re reaching the limitations of that kind of thinking. I might be tweeting a lot of things in the future, some of which will be absolute idiocy.”
Kevin Feige put the whole thing down to a simple misunderstanding, but Chapek’s words clearly got to Liu. There’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders as a relative unknown headlining a mega budget comic book adaptation, and he’s never been anything less than 100% committed and twice as enthusiastic about ensuring everyone knows Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is unlike anything MCU fans have ever seen before.