“Shang-Chi” dazzles with $71.4m opening weekend at box office

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings delivered the sizzle that struggling movie theatres so desperately needed, debuting to $71.4 million in its inaugural weekend. 

The Marvel adventure, Variety reports, is on pace to rack up a mighty $83.5 million over the four-day Labour Day weekend, trumping expectations that had anticipated a debut of between $45 million to $50 million while also shattering barriers for Asian representation on screen.

The film’s three-day figure is the second best of the pandemic era, falling just behind Black Widow’s $80.3 million haul and edging out F9’s $70 million bow. It also marks a record for Labour Day openings, which is traditionally a sluggish weekend at the box office, besting the previous high-water mark set by 2007’s Halloween, which pulled in $30.6 million more than a decade ago and at a time when catastrophic, global pandemics seemed like the stuff of sci-fi movies.

Unlike Black Widow, which opted for a hybrid release and debuted on Disney Plus, where it was available to rent for $30, Shang-Chi was showing exclusively in theatres. 

Shang-Chi, the first Marvel movie to have an Asian superhero as its protagonist, centres on a former assassin who must contend with the legacy of his evil father and the crime syndicate he operates. 

Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) directs a cast that includes Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Tony Leung and Meng’er Zhang. Newcomer Simu Liu, who previously appeared in the Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience, plays the title role.

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