While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has seemingly set in motion a plan for many movies to revert back to theatrical only release schedules after smashing last weekend's Labor Day weekend box office record, but how would the latest addition to the Marvel family fare on his second weekend? Well any expectation of a similar slump to the one that Black Widow suffered have been put to rest as the film seems to be heading for a $31 million second weekend run after pulling in just under $10 million on Friday. This will only help to boost Disney's confidence in their commitment to debuting all of this year's remaining theatrical movies as cinema exclusives and not having a Day and Date release.
As well as being the highest rated Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes at present, Shang-Chi has been a huge hit with both critics and fans alike, and this seems to have transferred to box office receipts, which are predicted to now stand around $141 million since it released last week. The film easily managed to hold onto the top spot and fend of mediocre competition from the new release of James Wan's Malignant, as well as Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy and the reboot of Candyman, all of which hung around the $5 million mark for the weekend.
Last weekend, Shang-Chi pulled in over $90 million across the holiday weekend, shattering the previous long standing record held by Rob Zombie's Halloween, which made just over $30 million 14 years ago. Zombie recently took to his social media pages to acknowledge the record being broken, saying, "It took 14 years but it finally happened! Big Mike was knocked out of the top spot by a Kung-Fu Master. 14 years is a pretty good run."
While many movies have been shuffling their release dates again, with Sony and Paramount both having shunted release dates back and forth in the last couple of weeks, we have now seen Sony's Venom pulled forward by two weeks to the beginning of October, and Disney go one step further to commit to both the current release schedule they have in place and that all of those movies will be exclusively in movie theaters. This means that Eternals will now open with an exclusive 45 day theatrical window, and of course Spider-Man: No Way Home will get the same treatment when it arrives in December, which was pretty much already guaranteed anyway.
Many big budget movies have suffered a lot of uncertainty, with the likes of Black Widow and DC's The Suicide Squad having reasonable runs in the cinema, but ultimately seeming to have been hurt by the simultaneous release of those movies on streaming platforms. Despite this, the upcoming Halloween Kills has just been announced as having its cinematic premiere happen alongside the movie streaming on Peacock, suggesting that movies that don't carry a mega-budget may still be opting for a Day and Date strategy.
Although all of this is still subject to change, it does look like many studios are finally starting to get back to some kind of normality when it comes to movie releases, but only time will tell if this continues to hold over the next few months.