Weekend Box Office Report: September 3 – September 5, 2021

The weekend box office report is provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.

Weekend Estimates Update:

Disney’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was off to a record-breaking start this weekend with respective estimated three-day and four-day weekend grosses of $71.4 million and $83.5 million. The latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) easily set a new opening weekend record for Labor Day weekend; a record that had previously been set way back in 2007 by Halloween with a four-day debut of $30.59 million. Studios rarely release high-profile films over Labor Day weekend, but it will be interesting to see if the success of Shang-Chi this weekend will change that trend going forward. The three-day opening for Shang-Chi also represented the third largest opening weekend ever for the month of September (behind only 2017’s IT and 2019’s IT Chapter Two) and the second largest opening weekend since the re-opening of domestic theatres at this time last year (behind only fellow Disney / Marvel film Black Widow and just ahead of F9). Shang-Chi flew past pre-release expectations, which had tended to range anywhere from $45 million to $60 million for the three-day portion of the weekend. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if the Destin Daniel Cretton directed film starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina ends up even higher than currently estimated for the four-day frame when actuals are released on Tuesday.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings started out with $29.6 million on Friday (which included an estimated $8.8 million from Thursday night preview shows that began at 6PM), was down 22 percent on Saturday to take in $23.2 million (which was a very strong first-Saturday hold when factoring in the film’s Thursday preview grosses), is estimated to decline 20 percent on Sunday to gross $18.6 million and then decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $12.1 million. Shang-Chi no doubt benefited from its strong critical reviews this weekend and also already looks to be benefiting from very strong early word of mouth among audiences as well. The film received a strong A rating on CinemaScore and currently boasts an exceptional 98 percent Verified Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Shang-Chi also representing the first MCU film with a predominantly Asian cast was another key component of the film’s break-out performance this weekend. A strong performance from IMAX and other premium screens helped out as well, as Shang-Chi grossed an estimated $8.05 million over the four-day frame from domestic IMAX screens, while all premium screens (including IMAX) made up 34 percent of this weekend’s overall domestic performance. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also looks to have benefited at the box office from opening exclusively in theatres this weekend, whereas back in July Black Widow opened day-and-date, theatrically and via streaming on Disney+ as a Premiere Access title.

The audience breakdown for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings skewed 61 percent male, 39 percent female and was evenly split between moviegoers under 25 and moviegoers over 25. The film played especially well with teens and young adults, as moviegoers in the 13 – 24 range made up a significant 45 percent of the film’s overall audience. Family audiences represented an estimated 12 percent of the film’s overall audience. Given the strong early reception to the film, the film being a non-sequel and the rest of this September’s line-up not looking to include any other blockbuster-level fare, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will likely hold up very well for a comic book adaptation in the weeks ahead.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings wasn’t quite as impressive internationally this weekend, but the film not breaking out internationally to the extent it did domestically wasn’t really a surprise given recent international trends in light of the continued COVID-19 pandemic. Through Sunday, Shang-Chi was still off to a solid international start with an estimated $56.2 million from 41 markets. That places the film’s estimated global total through Sunday at $127.6 million. International debuts for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings this weekend included $7.7 million in the United Kingdom, $6.5 million in South Korea, $4.3 million in France, $3.2 million in Russia, $2.8 million in Japan, $2.4 million in Mexico, $2.3 million in Germany, $1.8 million in Brazil, $1.8 million in Spain and $1.8 million in Italy. With an estimated $5.19 million from international IMAX screens this weekend, the global IMAX launch for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stands at an estimated $13.23 million through Monday.

Universal and MGM’s Candyman was down one spot from last weekend to place in second with respective estimated three-day and four-day grosses of $10.55 million and $13.43 million. Candyman was down a sizable 52 percent over the three-day frame, which represents a respectable second weekend hold for a horror film, especially in light of the break-out performance of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings this weekend. Strong critical reviews, good word of mouth, the Labor Day holiday weekend and currently playing exclusively in theatres all contributed towards this weekend’s hold for Candyman. Through Monday, the estimated eleven-day total for Candyman stands at $41.94 million. Next weekend Candyman will face new competition for horror fans from Warner’s Malignant, which will open day-and-date on Friday, theatrically and via streaming on HBOMax.

Internationally, Candyman grossed an estimated $2.6 million over the three-day weekend from 52 markets. Respective totals for Candyman through Sunday stand at a modest $10.9 million internationally and at $50.0 million globally. Candyman continues to perform well in the United Kingdom, as the film was down just 28 percent this weekend to take in $1.09 million and has grossed $3.99 million in the market thus far.

Disney and 20th Century’s Free Guy was also down one spot from last weekend to land in third place this weekend with respective three-day and four-day estimates of $8.72 million and $11.17 million. Free Guy didn’t have the greatest hold for a well-received high-profile film over Labor Day weekend, as the film was down 34 percent for the three-day frame, but obviously Free Guy took a direct hit from Shang-Chi this weekend, especially given the audience overlap between the two films and that Free Guy also lost its IMAX screens to Shang-Chi this weekend. Disney having to compete with itself this weekend is a nice problem for the studio to have. In the bigger picture, Free Guy continues to perform very well with a stronger than expected 25-day total gross of $94.35 million through Monday. Free Guy is currently the sixth highest grossing film domestically since re-opening (though it will soon be overtaken by Shang-Chi).

Free Guy continued to impress internationally this weekend with an estimated $25.3 million from 47 markets. That brings the film’s international total through Sunday to $147.4 million and global total through Sunday to $239.2 million. Like last weekend, Free Guy received a major boost this weekend from China, where the film has grossed an estimated $57.0 million through Sunday. Additional international totals for Free Guy by market through Sunday include $18.2 million in the United Kingdom, $9.8 million in Russia, $4.7 million in France, $4.0 million in Germany, $4.0 million in Saudi Arabia, $3.9 million in Japan, $3.3 million in Australia, $2.9 million in Hong Kong and $2.8 million in Mexico.

It’s currently a very tight race for fourth place this weekend between Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Movie and Disney’s Jungle CruisePAW Patrol: The Movie currently has the slight edge with respective three-day and four-day estimated grosses of $4.00 million and $5.22 million, while respective three-day and four-day estimates for Jungle Cruise stand at $3.95 million and $5.20 million. Jungle Cruise held up much better than PAW Patrol: The Movie this weekend, as Jungle Cruise was down only 21 percent over the three-day frame, whereas PAW Patrol: The Movie fell 40 percent (which is a relatively soft hold for a family film over Labor Day weekend). Respective total grosses through Monday stand at $106.90 million for Jungle Cruise through 39 days (making it the fourth highest grossing film domestically since re-opening) and at $31.45 million for PAW Patrol: The Movie through 18 days.

Sony’s Don’t Breathe 2 took sixth place for the weekend with respective three-day and four-day estimated grosses of $2.21 million and $2.72 million. Don’t Breathe 2 continues to hold up well for a horror sequel, as the film was down just 23 percent over the three-day frame. Through Monday, the estimated 25-day total for Don’t Breathe 2 stands at $28.50 million.

Read more at BoxOfficeReport.com

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