Marvel and Disney’s “Shang-Chi” is set to sweep the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row, adding an expected $33 to $35 million to last weekend’s haul.
The superhero adventure, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, took in $9.7 million on Friday from 4,300 theaters. Last weekend, the film finished the Labor Day holiday with a record-smashing $94.6 million. Industry predictions for the film’s earnings this weekend put its gross at an impressive $142.8 to $144.8 million, despite experiencing an overall weekend decline in ticket sales of 54-56%. However, that percentage decline is standard for a Marvel film in non-pandemic times.
“Shang-Chi” was released exclusively in theaters for 45 days, as opposed to Disney’s other releases including “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise.” The new strategy seems to be working for Disney, as the company announced on Friday that they will be releasing the next Marvel installment, “Eternals,” exclusively in theaters as well. “Eternals,” “The Last Duel,” “West Side Story,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong” and “The King’s Man” will all get 45-day theatrical windows before moving to digital platforms, while “Encanto” will play in theaters for 30 days before moving to Disney Plus.
Eyeing the No. 2 spot this weekend is James Wan’s new horror film “Malignant,” which is expected to bring in $5.2 million in its debut weekend. The Warner Bros. film collected $1.9 million from 3,485 theaters on Friday. “Malignant” is also premiering simultaneously on HBO Max, giving viewers the option to watch from the comfort of their couches rather than go to their local theater, which could be affecting its ticket sales. The twist-filled flick focuses on Madison (Annabelle Wallis), who has visions of gruesome murders — only to discover that they are, in fact, reality.
It’s a toss up between “Malignant” and box office mainstay “Free Guy” for the second spot, as “Free Guy” pulled in $1.5 million on Friday from 3,650 theaters. Starring Ryan Reynolds, the box office hit is expected to add another $4.5 million to $5 million to its haul this weekend, bringing its cume past the $100 million mark. Slasher film “Candyman” is set to come in at No. 4, with a three-day estimate of $4.25 million, bringing its overall haul to $47.4 million. Rounding out the top five is Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” which is set to continue its run by adding another $2.2 million to its gross for a total of $109.6 million.