Sorry Shang-Chi, for pronouncing it Shang-Chi instead of Shang-Chi.
Shang-Chi isn’t off to a great start. I wish that weren’t the case, but as I said on the show, it is what it is. There are no “great” options right now, and Disney is opting to go theater-only for the rest of 2021. I’m sure the Black Widow lawsuit has something to do with that, since they haven’t been sued for delaying movies that I am aware of yet.
Theaters are hurting, but you can’t force people to go to the movies. You can encourage them with big releases, and the theaters themselves can do whatever they can to make people feel comfortable. But at showtime it is up to the people to decide if they are going to show up, and they aren’t. Shang-Chi breaking the record for movies opening on Labor Day says more about the other movies than it does itself.
Looking at the domestic, opening weekend numbers in the MCU Shang-Chi falls short of every single MCU origin story except for Ant-Man and The Incredible Hulk. Even the progenitor Iron Man, when the MCU didn’t even exist and the movie was mostly ad-libbed comes out ahead.
This isn’t to say the Shang-Chi is a bad movie. I definitely recommend you see it when you can! But as far as seeing it on the big screen? I seems like people would rather wait.
That being said, in my research for this post I found I may have been a bit harsh on recent releases and the second week fall. Most of the Marvel movies that have been released, regardless of when they came out or even what country you are looking at have similar numbers. I found that a bit surprising, even for juggernauts like Endgame (which felt like it was selling out showings for months) follow the same trend.
The numbers for Shang-Chi still aren’t great, especially since the MCU has a well-established fan base at this point and there is very little for cinematic competition out there right now. If the pandemic didn’t exist and everything else movie-wise was the same I would be expecting it to be lighting up the box offices, but instead it is doing simply “OK”.
As promised, here is the poll for our pick for the next MCU TV team-up! Place your own vote, or make a different prediction down below!