As suspected, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” won the weekend easily with a total box office of $35.8M. The drop of 53% for the three days was more than exhibitors had hoped for, but most were still pleased with the Saturday’s drop of only 34%. After last weekend’s record-breaking performance and looking ahead to a less-than-stellar pair of openings next weekend in “Copshop” and “Cry Macho”, “Shang-Chi” could remain the top title up through the 9/27 opening of “Dear Evan Hansen”. If it plays out, this would make “Shang-Chi’s” run only the third time this year that a film has topped the box office for three consecutive weekends. This is good news for Disney/Marvel and appears to bolster the argument for not releasing “Shang-Chi” day & date with streaming.
The surprise of the weekend was “Free Guy”, which finished second with a total of $5.8M. “Malignant’s” disappointing opening of $5.6M followed by “Candyman’s” drop of 53% from last weekend left the door open for “Free Guy” to move ahead of both horror films. “Free Guy” is completing in its fifth week in theatres, and had only a 35% drop from last weekend’s results. The picture is also not streaming day & date has now grossed a total of $102M. With a soft lineup of new releases through the rest of September, “Free Guy” should be able to hold on to the majority of its runs throughout the month.
With the disappearance of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Venom: Let Their be Carnage” from September, “Shang-Chi” should be able to continue its heroic performance on behalf of exhibition during a month of very low box office receipts.