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Battle at the Box Office 9/13/21

By Zach

Shang-Chi remained strong at the box office and stayed on top for its second weekend of release while most everything else struggled, including the new release Malignant.

Shang-Chi only dropped 53% from last week’s opening, which is a strong hold for a Marvel movie and especially in the current theatrical landscape where movies were dropping up 70% from opening weekend to second weekend.  The movie made another $35.8 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $145.6 million, making it already the 4th highest-grossing domestic film of 2021.  It also has $257.6 million worldwide, making it the 8th highest-grossing film worldwide for the year.  One disappointing bit of news for Disney/Marvel is that the movie will not get a Chinese release as the Chinese government was upset about remarks made in 2017 by star Simu Liu and if it had gotten a Chinese release, it probably would have added a huge chunk of change to the worldwide gross.

Free Guy actually moved back up to second after being third last weekend.  It made another $5.8 million and has made $101.8 million domestic and $276.5 million worldwide.  It’s currently the 6th highest-grossing film domestically and worldwide.

Malignant opened to $5.4 million, which was well below expectations that had it opening between $10-12 million.  It had a very divisive reaction over the weekend, which could have affected word of mouth for some viewers and it was available on HBO Max.  Market researcher Samba TV has an estimate that 753,000 households watched Malignant on HBO Max over the weekend.  With The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, and now Malignant underperforming, the day and date strategy Warner Bros is doing till the end of the year might be really hurting them at the box office as of late and upcoming movies like Dune and The Matrix Resurrections could feel the impact as well.  Malignant was the lowest opening ever for James Wan as a director.

Candyman and Jungle Cruise rounded out the top 5.

The only other movie besides Shang-Chi that exceeded expectations was Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac.  The movie was expected to make less than $1 million, as it was only playing in 580 theaters, but it made $1.03 million and took 8th place.  On the flip side, the faith-based documentary Show Me The Father was expected to make around $2 million but only took in $700,000.

Shang-Chi also took the Per Theater average for the week with $8,322 in each of the 4,300 theaters it was playing in.

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