‘Shang-Chi’ Keeps Rolling In Top Spot With $13.3 Million, Passing ‘Black Widow’ As The Top Hit Of 2021; ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Disappoints
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continued to own the September box office this weekend, easily holding onto the top spot in North America for the fourth consecutive frame. The Disney superhero tentpole racked up another $13.3 million in North America, bringing its total domestic haul to $196.5 million, putting it ahead of its Marvel stablemate Black Widow as the highest-grossing film of 2021. Meanwhile, the weekend’s only major newcomer, Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen, hit a slightly sour note in its debut, pulling in a disappointing $7.5 million, which was still good enough for second place during what turned out to be a slow session.

Shang-Chi, which should break the $200 million barrier in domestic ticket sales early this week (becoming the first movie since 2020’s Bad Boys for Life to do so), was the first title to earn the No. 1 spot four weekends in a row since Tenet accomplished the same feat last year. The Marvel movie has easily become the big box-office story of the year as we head into October and its slate of blockbuster hopefuls such as Venom: Let There Be Carnage, No Time to Die, and Dune.

Shang-Chi’s $13.3 million in receipts over the weekend brought its current domestic tally to $196.5 million (putting Black Widow and its $183.6 million in the rearview mirror). The PG-13-rated film which stars Simu Liu and Awkwafina dipped a modest -38.7% from the previous weekend and earned a $3,361 per-screen average in 3,952 locations. Overseas, the film has added $166.9 million to date despite it lack of a release China—one of Marvel’s biggest markets. Its worldwide cume after four weeks is $363.4 million.

Well below, in second place, was Universal’s rookie Dear Evan Hansen, which earned $7.5 million in its debut weekend. A star-studded adaptation of the hit 2016 Broadway musical, the PG-13-rated film cost only $27 million to produce. But its underwhelming first-weekend numbers can only be viewed as disappointing, especially since the film was predicted to make $10 million over its opening frame. The coming-of-age story about an anxious high school student caught in a lie that snowballs out of his control features Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Ben Platt (who also toplined the stage version). And while the film was hardly a musical misfire on par with the studio’s 2019 dog-with-fleas, Cats, Dear Evan Hansen scored a soft $2,229 per-screen average in 3,364 theaters. While critics pulled out their knives on the film (it earned a 33% green splat on Rotten Tomatoes), audiences responded more positively giving it an A- grade from CinemaScore. The film will need a lot of positive word of mouth to stick around in what promises to be a very crowded marketplace in the coming weeks. Dear Evan Hansen did not open internationally.

In third place was 20th Century Studios and Disney’s ulra-resilient Free Guy with $4.1 million. The irreverent PG-13-rated action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds slipped a mere -18.8% in its seventh weekend and managed a $1,300 per-screen average in 3,175 locations. After nearly two months, the movie has compiled $114.1 million domestically and a supersized $203.3 million abroad, bringing its current worldwide box office total to $317.4 million. It just keeps going and going and going….

In fourth place (again) was Universal’s Candyman, which scared up $2.5 million in its fifth weekend. That number represents a decent -28.8% drop from the previous session. The latest installment in the R-rated horror cycle, which stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, earned a $982 per-screen average in 2,556 theaters, putting its five-week North American total at $56.8 million. So far, Candyman has added $14.8 million from abroad (where the franchise is less known), pushing its global box-office haul to $71.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Warner Bros.’ Cry Macho, the latest film from 91-year-old director and star Clint Eastwood. The PG-13-rated Western drama about a former rodeo star hired by his ex-boss to bring the man’s son back from Mexico tacked on $2.1 million in its sophomore weekend, bringing its two-week North American tally to $8.3 million. The movie, which is also available on HBO Max, nosedived -52.2% from its debut frame. Cry Macho earned a $525 per-screen average in 4,022 theaters and has added a negligible $762,000 overseas to date, putting its worldwide box-office cume at $9.1 million.

Expect all of these standings to be seriously shaken up in the next few weekends as Hollywood begins to roll out its first wave of big fall titles: Next weekend sees the release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark; October 8th brings the latest (and oft-delayed) 007 installment No Time to Die; October 15th will deliver Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel and a new Michael Myers chapter Halloween Kills; and October 22 will introduce Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and the sci-fi spectacular, Dune. Let the games begin….