‘Shang-Chi’ Stays On Record Pace With Nearly $35.8 Million In Second Weekend; ‘Malignant’ Is D.O.A.
You can now add sustained box-office might to Shang-Chi’s already-impressive array of superpowers. A week after the Marvel blockbuster’s record-breaking Labor Day roll-out, the film not only held on to the top spot with relative ease, thanks to its nearly $35.8 million sophomore weekend haul, it also roared past Black Widow to become the fastest film to reach the $100 million milestone in North America this year. The superhero tentpole also crossed the $250 million mark globally. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ latest chiller-thriller, Malignant, proved to be terrifying but in all the wrong ways, scaring up an underwhelming $5.5 million in its domestic bow.

The latest entry in the still-thriving MCU, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has proven that Disney’s pandemic-era hybrid model (where it simultaneously released its splashiest titles in theaters and on Disney Plus for a $30 surcharge) may be becoming a thing of the past. In fact, Shang-Chi’s resounding success as a theatrical exclusive led the studio to announce last week that its remaining titles for 2021 (which includes Marvel’s Eternals and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story) would follow Shang-Chi’s lead and open only in theaters before making their way to its streaming platform a month and a half later.

Breaking down Shang-Chi’s sophomore week numbers, the film’s North American haul of slightly less than $35.8 million translated to a -52.5% fall-off from the prior session—which may sound steep but is actually pretty consistent with Marvel’s pre-COVID second-weekend declines. (In fact, the PG-13-rated extravaganza starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina is holding on far better than its recent stablemate, Black Widow, which nosedived -67.8% in its second frame). Earning a $8,322 per-screen average in 4,300 theaters, Shang-Chi has now racked up $145.6 million domestically. Meanwhile, the film has added $112 million from overseas to date, which may sound low, but makes sense when you consider that it still hasn’t been scheduled for release in China—one of Marvel’s biggest markets. Its worldwide cume after two weeks is $257.6 million.

Well below, in second place, was 20th Century Studios and Disney’s Free Guy with $5.8 million. The irreverent PG-13-rated action comedy dipped -34.5% from the prior frame and managed a $1,594 per-screen average in 3,650 locations. After five weeks, the movie finally managed to nose past the $100 million mark, ending up with $101.8 million in North America. To date, it has added an impressive $174.7 million from abroad, which brings its current worldwide box office total to $276.5 million and seems to indicate that the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, may now be considered a legitimate international marquee draw.

Sluggishly arriving in third place was Warner Bros.’ horror flick Malignant. Although it was the only widely released newcomer from a major studio this weekend, and despite the platinum pedigree of its director James Wan (who created both the Saw and Conjuring franchises), the R-rated chiller starring Annabelle Wallis as a woman whose visions of brutal murders come true only managed to scare slightly less than $5.8 million in its debut frame. Malignant eked out a $1,598 per-screen average in 3,485 theaters and has brought in an additional $9.5 million from overseas, where it opened a week earlier. Its worldwide box-office total is just under $15.1 million, which by any metric has to be considered a disappointment considering its roughly $40 million budget.

In fourth place was another scary movie, Universal’s Candyman, which brought in $4.8 million in its third weekend in theaters. That number represents a -53.1% drop off from the prior session. The latest installment in the R-rated horror cycle, which stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, earned a $1,473 per-screen average in 3,279 theaters, putting its three-week North American total at $48 million. To date, Candyman has added $11.2 million from overseas, putting its global box office total at $59.2 million.

Rounding out the top five was Disney’s Jungle Cruise, which just keeps cruising along. In its seventh week in theaters, the Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt-starrer added just under $2.5 million. The PG-13-rated white-water adventure sank a modest -38.7% from the previous frame, earning an $877 per-screen average in 2,800 theaters. To date, Jungle Cruise has pulled in $109.9 million in North America and $86.9 million internationally, bringing its total worldwide tally to $196.8 million. The film was released day-and-date on the Disney Plus platform for a $30 surcharge.

Bubbling under the top five were two very different indie debuts: Focus Features’ R-rated gambling thriller The Card Counter, which was written and directed by Paul Schrader, and recently unspooled at the Venice and Telluride film festivals, opened in eighth place with $1.1 million; meanwhile Affirm Films’ PG-rated inspirational Christian film, Show Me the Father, opened in ninth place with $700,000.