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Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ smashes box office records on its opening weekend

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings smashes the US box office with a record-breaking $71.4 million in ticket sales.

Marvel’s winning streak just won’t end and this latest development is another notch in the studio’s multi-billion-dollar belt.

Opening in the US over the Labor Day weekend (typically a quiet period for films), Marvel’s latest action adventure managed to rake in an impressive $71.4 million at the box office. It’s a welcome surprise for the company and Disney, as Shang-Chi is the first film since Spider-Man: Far From Home to receive an exclusively theatrical release.

Shang-Chi still
Image: Marvel.com

Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst from Comscore, sung the film its praises.

“Shang-Chi is the ultimate confidence-builder for the theatrical movie industry,” Dergarabian said.

“This was a very important film. This was the first Marvel movie that’s opened exclusively theatrically since Spider-Man: Far From Home in July 2019. Shang-Chi is a real testament of the power of a theatrical-first strategy to drive huge numbers of moviegoers to the multiplex.”

Prior to the film’s release, it was estimated that its opening weekend would earn Marvel “closer to $50 million”. By surpassing the expectations, Shang-Chi has officially become “the second biggest opening of the year”.

It’s also a stand out moment for diversity and representation.

Shang-Chi marks the first Marvel film to star an Asian lead with a predominantly Asian/Asian American cast.

The actor in the titular role, 32-year-old Simu Liu, spoke with TIME earlier in the year about the importance of the film for the Asian diaspora:

“I loved comics as a kid, I loved superheroes, but I really didn’t see myself represented in that space … I really hope with this movie, kids who are like me, who grew up similarly, can have that. That’s really the power of representation: seeing yourself on screen and feeling like you’re a part of this world, which for Asian children who have grown up in the West hasn’t always been the case,” Liu said.

Shang-Chi comic
Image: MARVEL COMICS

COVID-19 has set Hollywood and the film industry back.

Quite a few films – Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick/Clifford the Big Red Dog and MTV’s Jackass Forever – have had their release dates postponed.

Larger movies such as the next James Bond film, No Time to Die, and Sony Picture’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, are scheduled to be released next month.

Shang-Chi (directed by Destin Daniel Cretton) also stars Asian screen legends Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh, with Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang and Fala Chen.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is in cinemas now.

It will begin screening in Victoria, NSW and Canberra on September 16.