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Marvel’s Shang-Chi Tops Box Office with Cinema-Only Release Strategy

Marvel Studio’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has made one of the strongest box office openings this year, raking in $127.6 million globally. However, the movie has been released on a cinema-only basis unlike Black widow, which saw a box office plummet due to dual streaming on Disney.


Shang-Chi is to become the first Marvel movie that debuts an Asian Superhero, starring Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu. The movie’s other cast members are predominantly Asian including Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung.

The movie’s storyline revolves around Simu Liu who plays the role of a former martial arts assassin who must fight his warlord father of the Ten Rings and its Army.

According to a Hollywood Reporter, the film's earnings peaked at $71.4 million during the Labor Day weekend, setting a new record in the country.

PC: The Hollywood Reporter

Controversy Surrounding Release Strategy

In comparison to other releases such as Jungle Cruise, Black widow, and Cruella, Shang-Chi has been released on a cinema basis only. Viewers will not be able to stream on any other channels including Disney Plus.

Scarlet Johansson, lead star of Black widow has recently sued Disney for breach of contract. The actress confirmed that dual streaming took a hit at her box office openings and affected her earnings. Black widow only managed to bring in $26.3 million and further declined during the second week of opening. However, Disney has said it has not breached the contract and is in full compliance.

Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney said,

We think Shang-Chi is actually going to be an interesting experiment for us because it’s got only a 45-day theatrical window… so the prospect of being able to take a marvel title to the service after going theatrical for 45 days will be yet another data point to inform out actions going forward on our titles.”

To this, Shang-Chi actor, Liu responded saying,

Shang-Chi is not an experiment.

In comparison to other movies being released recently, Candyman topped the box office last weekend with $22 million and Ryan Reynolds Free Guy made $8.7 million.


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