“Shang-Chi” Obliterates the Competition for Second Weekend


September 10-12, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Shang-Chi and the
Legend of the Ten Rings 
$35.7 million
Free Guy $5.8 million
Malignant $5.5 million
Candyman $4.8 million
Jungle Cruise $2.4 million

In just 10 days, Shang-Chi has gone from one of the year's biggest question marks to one of the year's biggest hits. The latest Marvel movie continues to bring out audiences. Its drop from the long weekend is on par with other blockbusters. It's now the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year, and should edge out A Quiet Place Part II and F9 by the end of the month. While October will bring new competition, including sequels to big hits like Venom and Halloween, there's an outside chance this becomes our first $200 million finisher.

Free Guy also crossed a milestone, becoming the sixth movie of the year to pass $100 million. It will likely pass Jungle Cruise –the No. 5 film both this weekend and on the year-to-date list – in a week or two. Though it may be a game of inches as the Rock/Emily Blunt action comedy continues to hold strongly after more than a month in theaters.

For third and fourth place, it was a battle of horror movies. James Wan's Malignant – which was also available to stream on HBO Max – edged out the third weekend of Candyman. It got similarly mixed reviews, but some critics went nuts for its allegedly bonkers third-act twist.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Azor, the French spy movie. It averaged $3,200 on its pair of screens.
  • The Card Counter opened to a fairly dismal $1.1 million. Still, it only premiered 580 screens and will hopefully have long legs this fall.
  • Still, it did better than quasi-documentary Show Me the Father, which opened on twice as many screens. Produced by Christian filmmaking all-stars the Kendrick Brothers, it explores father-son relationships and faith. Why this didn't open on Father's Day is beyond me.

Next week:

You can expect Shang-Chi to repeat at the top spot again. None of its competition poses any real threat, though they all look entertaining in their own way. Gerard Butler has some fun in the over-the-top action flick Copshop, Jessica Chastain comes for her Oscar with The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Clint Eastwood says goodbye to the cowboy life (again) in Cry Macho.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.