Marvel and Disney’s “Shang-Chi” is set to sweep the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row, adding an expected $33 to $35 million to last weekend’s haul.
The superhero adventure, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, took in $9.4 million on Friday from 4,300 theaters. Last weekend, the film finished the Labor Day holiday with a record-smashing $94.6 million. Industry predictions for the film’s earnings this weekend put its gross at an impressive $142.8 to $144.8 million, despite experiencing an overall weekend decline in ticket sales of 54-56%. However, that percentage decline is typically standard for a Marvel film in non-pandemic times.
“Shang-Chi” was released exclusively in theaters for 45 days, as opposed to Disney’s other releases including “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise.” The new strategy seems to be working for Disney, as the company announced on Friday that they will be releasing the next Marvel installment, “Eternals,” and animated film “Encanto” exclusively in theaters as well. “Eternals,” “The Last Duel,” “West Side Story,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong” and “The King’s Man” will all get 45-day theatrical windows before moving to digital platforms, while “Encanto” will play in theaters for 30 days before moving to Disney Plus.
Coming in at the No. 2 spot this weekend is James Wan’s new horror film “Malignant,” which is expected to bring in $5.2 million in its debut weekend. The Warner Bros. film collected $1.9 million from 3,485 theaters on Friday. “Malignant” is also premiering simultaneously on HBO Max, giving viewers the option to watch from the comfort of their couches rather than go to their local theater. The twist-filled flick focuses on Madison (Annabelle Wallis), who has visions of gruesome murders — only to discover that they are, in fact, reality.