Labor Day weekend and a worldwide pandemic hasn’t slowed down Disney from releasing the new Marvel superhero movie Shang-Chi. The latest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe installments is projected to have a Labor Day opening weekend record of $60 million after a $8.8 million Thursday preview night total, via Deadline.
According to projections it is almost definitely going to break the previous Labor Day weekend record of $30.6 million set in 2007 by the slasher horror movie Halloween. This would also place the film in one of the top pandemic openings behind Black Widow at about $80 million (theatrical) and F9 at $70 million. Though these ballpark figures are only industry estimates for now, they give a good idea of what is expected from the film.
High expectations are set on Shang-Chi as a completely new superhero is introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the post-Thanos era. Pre-sale tickets are selling faster than expected, particularly in cities with large Asian-American communities. Advance ticket sales are only 20% short of those of Black Widow which has had the biggest domestic box office opening weekend during the pandemic. With its movie theater exclusive release on September 3rd, Disney is clearly hoping that walk-up sales will be higher than the ones of Black Widow, despite Shang-Chi not featuring such a big name Hollywood star or a well-established MCU character.
On an international scale the projections for Shang-Chi opening weekend range from $90 million to $100 million. The European market will be of key importance as South East Asia and China still await the release date. The film comes out in major European countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK on Friday. Other important international markets where Shang-Chi is expected to do well are Brazil, Russia, Australia, Mexico, and Japan.
Phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is well on its way to success in 2021 with the Black Widow stand-alone film in July and now the introduction of a new character, Shang-Chi. Marvel and Disney have put a lot of faith, and money, into the production of this year’s films as they need to prove that the MCU can continue its successful path without most of the original Avengers.
We will continue seeing some familiar faces for the most part such as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Thor. But Shang-Chi is truly the first Marvel movie that has to prove itself worthy of the Avenger Olympus without any backstory linking him back to any of the six Avengers that made the MCU great. The same holds true for the upcoming Eternals movie hitting theaters in November.