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Box Office: ‘Shang-Chi’ Surpasses ‘Black Widow’ as Highest-Grossing Film of 2021

New release 'Dear Evan Hansen' is expected to take the No. 2 spot with $7.3 million.

Shang-Chi Simu Liu SHANG-CHI AND THE
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

It’s official: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has surpassed fellow Marvel film “Black Widow” as the highest-grossing film of 2021 — and the pandemic — at the domestic box office.

On Friday, the superhero adventure starring Simu Liu captured $3.59 million from 3,952 theaters, which was enough to push it past “Black Widow” with a total gross of $186.7 million. “Black Widow,” which premiered in July, has earned roughly $183.5 million in theaters since its release. It has earned at least $125 million more on Disney Plus.

“Shang-Chi” breaking this record is a significant landmark for the movie theater business, as it was released solely in theaters with 45 days of exclusivity — as opposed to “Black Widow” and many other new releases, which have opted for a hybrid model.

This weekend, “Shang-Chi” is poised to top the domestic box office charts for the fourth weekend straight, adding an expected $12 million to $14 million to its haul. The film should end the weekend just shy of the $200 million mark.

New release “Dear Evan Hansen” is expected to come in second place with a subdued $7.3 million from 3,364 theaters. The Universal Pictures movie musical, starring Ben Platt as an isolated teenage boy who struggles to belong in the age of social media, took in $3.2 million on Friday.

Ryan Reynolds’ box office hit “Free Guy” is set to move down a spot to No. 3, but is still holding on with a three-day estimate of $4 million from 3,175 theaters. Meanwhile, slasher film “Candyman” and Clint Eastwood’s newest movie “Cry Macho” are poised to round out the box office chart in fourth and fifth place, respectively. “Candyman” should earn another $2.4 million this weekend for a cume of $56.79 million, and “Cry Macho” is expected to add $2 million for a total gross of $8.2 million.