Shang-Chi debuts to record-breaking box office numbers

Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has debuted to record-breaking numbers at the box office.

The Marvel film, which was released on September 3, set a new Labor Day record with an estimated $83.5 million domestic total in its four-day opening (that's $71.4 million across its first three days). The previous record-holder was 2007's Halloween remake, which netted just over $30 million at the domestic box office in its Labor Day opening. Shang-Chi also had the biggest opening weekend in the UK during the pandemic, scoring $7.7 million. Currently, including its estimated Labor Day performance, the film's worldwide total sits at $139.7 million. (H/T Deadline)

The film is a theatrical exclusive for 45 days, expected to arrive to Disney Plus this October 17. Disney CEO Bob Chapek described the release strategy as an "interesting experiment," which star Simu Liu seemingly responded to in a tweet that read: "We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise. I'm fired the f**k up to make history on September 3rd."

Black Widow had an $80 million domestic opening weekend, plus $60 million from its Disney Plus Premier Access release, but suffered a huge drop off in its second weekend, with numbers falling to $26.3 million theatrically (H/T The Atlantic) – and is now on track to be one of Marvel's lowest-grossing movies. Scarlett Johansson is also suing Disney over the release for what she says is a breach of her contract.

Shang-Chi's massive debut seems fairly solid proof that films can still find box office success as theatrical exclusives amid the pandemic. But, the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick was recently delayed until May 2022, and Venom 2 might (or might not) be moving to January 2022 – though whether studios continue to push back movies following Shang-Chi's record-setting performance remains to be seen.

The MCU's next big-screen release is Eternals, which is set to arrive this November 5 as part of Marvel Phase 4. Until then, check out how to watch Marvel movies in order to get up to speed on the MCU.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.