Another week comes to a close and we have some more data to give us an insight into how the overall Box Office is developing. There’s been some negative light on recent statements by Disney CEO Bob Chapek on calling the upcoming 45-day release window of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings an “experiment” in unlikely times. While the sentiment with the Delta Variant spreading across the role was understandable, the wording for such a culturally relevant depiction for an Asian-American-led project wasn’t. The film’s star Simu Liu shared this sentiment in a tweet:
All eyes were on Free Guy, a 20th Century release without a Disney+ Premier Access offering, to offer a glimpse of how other theatre-only releases might perform. Well, it may have given some hope as it surprised with a really impressive $28.4M domestic release. To put that in perspective, early predictions set it as a low-end $15M to $20M. For a pandemic release with a $100M budget, it’s a great showcase of its strength in cinemas. It generally garnered $51M worldwide putting git at a good start. It even saw the largest increase from Friday to Saturday with a 24% spike in ticket sales.
In addition, without a digital offering, its drop in the second weekend might prove some optimism for future releases. As Variety points out, Free Guy is the only real original theatre-only release so far and makes it a big testing ground in comparison to Snake Eyes and A Quiet Place Part II. As Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst of Box Office Pro highlights, it’s giving some hope that Shang-Chi surpasses the predictions ceiling of $55M.
Audiences love sequels — when they’re good — but sometimes you want something unique. Considering its an original movie, Disney is probably feeling more confident going into ‘Shang Chi’.
Not everything was all rosy over the weekend, as The Suicide Squad dropped by 70% in its second weekend. Its strength lied in its HBO Max showings, but its availability might show the challenge of these same-day releases. According to Forbes, it’s the biggest drop for a high-profile superhero film with only Shaquille O’Neal‘s Steel standing at the top spot with 78%. We’ll see if we get an additional insight into how it performs on the streaming service in its second week Black Widow has surpassed Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet, which has become the benchmark for blockbuster releases moving forward. Here’s hoping it might mean that Shang-Chi proves that it’s deserving of more attention.