Due to the effects of the pandemic, early projections had pegged Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for the lowest opening weekend in Marvel Cinematic Universe history, an unenviable title still held by The Incredible Hulk since its release over a decade ago. The latter, which stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, generated ‘just’ $55.4 million during its opening weekend back in 2008.
While the latest estimates haven’t altered too much, the martial arts fantasy blockbuster is still looking likely to break at least a couple of records when it opens in theaters. Under current circumstances, any win is a win no matter how you get it, so we can at least rejoice in the knowledge that Shang-Chi is going to grab more than a few headlines by the time Monday morning rolls around.
As things stand, the landmark 25th installment in the MCU is set to debut in the $45-50 million range, which would be good enough for it to become the highest-grossing Labor Day release ever. By comparison, Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake has held onto the crown since 2007, and Shang-Chi only needs to exceed $30 million to topple the slasher.
That should make it a comfortable victory, with the optimistic analysts claiming that when you factor in international markets, the film could end up with a global bow of $100 million. That would be huge for the pandemic era, but the real question is whether Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be able to follow in the footsteps of Disney-backed bedfellow Free Guy and be approved for China, which is where the real money is being made these days.